Friday, September 12, 2008

Blame Billy Fuccillo

Over the next few weeks we're going to be inundated with political advertising on both radio and television. You might be surprised to learn that Billy Fuccillo, he of the annoying "Huuuuggggggeeeee!" car commercials, is the reason why.

Mr. Fuccillo spends an absolutely insane amount of money in the local market. In most instances he invites a sales representative from a station in to "discuss" his yearly ad buy, lays a total price and the number of paid and bonus spots he wants on the table, and then walks away. That's it.

What he manages to do using that technique, other than getting an incredible value for his money, is drop his cost per commercial down to almost nothing. In fact, there are some local radio stations where he's effectively charged less than a dollar a spot. The television and cable outlets are pulling in a little more green, but it's still a relative steal. That's why you see and hear his commercials all the time- he purchases so many that stations have to schedule them almost every hour just to meet the terms of their contract.

So why does that mean an avalanche of political ads?

Because stations are forced to sell advertising time to political campaigns at their lowest effective spot rate. At almost every local station that happens to be the price Billy Fuccillo pays, so politicians get the same bargain basement price per spot he does while spending a fraction of the money.