O&M Direct launches TV planning, buying unit

Ater four years of informal arrangements, Ogilvy & Mather Direct has formed a separate division to plan and buy tv time for its clients.Brian Fetherstonhaugh, president of O&M Direct, says the new division will bring focus and direction to buying time...

Ater four years of informal arrangements, Ogilvy & Mather Direct has formed a separate division to plan and buy tv time for its clients.

Brian Fetherstonhaugh, president of O&M Direct, says the new division will bring focus and direction to buying time for direct response tv commercials in Canada for the agency’s clients.

Direct response tv spots have been bought and planned informally within o&m for the last four years, Fetherstonhaugh says.

Respond immediately

The new division, called Ogilvy & Mather Direct Response Media, was officially launched Dec. 1 and is based in Toronto.

Fetherstonhaugh says direct response television (drtv) provides a way for consumers to respond immediately to what they see.

Usually, he says this means a toll-free phone number allowing them to place an order.

Fetherstonhaugh says drtv is moving uptown, citing the new division’s clients such as Unitel, The Financial Post and American Express and should not be confused with the ‘gadgety’ direct response tv spots routinely broadcast on late night television.

Sarah Simpson, director of the new division, says all dayparts are tested for clients and the results dictate where the drtv spots will run.

Simpson says sometimes this means daytime and weekends, but not always.

Fetherstonhaugh says O&M Direct Response Media spots can air at any time, adding each station that airs a drtv spot gets its own phone number.

He says drtv spots have longer copy length, usually 60 seconds and 120 seconds, a strong offer and a ‘prominent call to action’ such as repeating the advertiser’s toll-free phone number.

Fetherstonhaugh says drtv spots are less expensive than regular tv commercial time.

He says drtv spots cost about 25% of what regular commercials cost because o&m has its staff buying time on the spot market.

Fetherstonhaugh admits this means drtv commercials sometimes get shut out of the high-profile shows, but, he counters, they may not be appropriate buys for drtv clients anyway. DC