August 16, 2022

Advertising: Bloomberg TV Pushes for a Wider Audience

“We want to be the most influential business television station there is,” said Trevor Fellows, the head of advertising sales for the Bloomberg Media Group. The goal, he said, is to reach beyond the traders and brokers who are now the Bloomberg Television’s core audience and draw in chief executives and other business leaders —“some of the most important people in the world,” as Mr. Fellows described them.

The new campaign highlights the channel, its lineup of morning programming, its business anchors and what they describe as an objective editorial tone. “Television has become the home for radical opinions,” Mr. Fellows said. “We’re fiercely independent, fiercely rational.”

The company is hoping to attract more than an expanded pool of viewers, too. “Advertisers like that notion of rationality,” Mr. Fellows said, “particularly as we go into a political cycle.”

The Bloomberg Media Group has spent the last few years honing its products and revamping its television shows in an attempt to knock over one of its most formidable competitors, CNBC.

“We think the opportunity is definitely there,” Mr. Fellows said. “A lot of the anecdotal feedback indicated that people are ready for things to be done differently than the way CNBC does them.”


Mr. Fellows conceded that there was a time when Bloomberg Television was “a pretty ugly channel to watch.” But newly remodeled studios and the overall marketing effort are aimed at getting people to watch it anew.

The campaign features ads with slogans like, “Business news like your coffee: hot, strong, no sugar.” The effort is geographically centered on New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, with a major focus on financial institutions in Manhattan. Advertising will be placed in the Wall Street subway station and it will be wrapped around double-decker tour buses. The company has also worked with some restaurants in the city, which will tune their TVs to the Bloomberg station.

The morning shows and hosts featured in the campaign include “In the Loop With Betty Liu,” “InBusiness With Margaret Brennan” and “Inside Track With Deirdre Bolton and Erik Schatzker.”

“The basic idea is that you are ready to go,” Peter Nicholson, the chief creative officer at the agency JWT, part of WPP, said of the campaign’s focus on morning news. Creating a campaign for a media company, he said, is different than promoting a packaged good. “Because they are a media company they have media channels to deliver it through,” Mr. Nicholson said. “You don’t have to invent anything. You’re just shining a light on it. The content is the power.”

Concentrating on the anchors is something the campaign creators said they hope would further distinguish their content. “They’re not newbies at this,” Mr. Nicholson said referring to Bloomberg’s anchors. “It doesn’t come across as boring or amateur.”

Some of the anchors also will be heading to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to promote the new campaign.

Over the last two years, Bloomberg’s marketing team has doubled to more than 40 employees and on June 16, the company announced it had hired Andrew Morse, formerly of ABC News Digital, to lead its television operation in the United States. During that time, the company also expanded its coverage of law, government, sports and energy, and it hired a chief marketing officer, Maureen McGuire.

Bloomberg does not release figures about the size of its audience and does not have a partnership with Nielsen, the ratings company.

Mr. Fellows attributed the company’s absence on Nielsen to a combination of factors, including cost and Nielsen’s inability to measure the core audience sought by Bloomberg.

“Until there’s a measurement system that can accurately capture this very elusive audience of decision makers, it’s not for us yet,” Mr. Fellows said. According to Nielsen, this year CNBC has had an estimated average audience of 217,000 viewers from 6 a.m. to noon, the time slot the new Bloomberg campaign will focus on.

Mr. Fellows said the company had been measuring its audience through set-top box data statistics through a partnership with Google TV, but he declined to share exact figures.


Chauncey Wesley, a media buyer at Universal McCann, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, said the company was in negotiations with Bloomberg to buy advertising time during the morning time slot.

“We appreciate this marketing push that they are doing,” said Mr. Wesley, whose clients include BMW, MasterCard and Charles Schwab. “Being aligned with that content is important for our clients.”

Nelson Leung, a vice president at MPG, part of Havas, said he was glad Bloomberg was marketing itself beyond its famed terminals. “When you create a brand from a television standpoint, talent and personality really is going to be the backbone for what you stand for,” he said.

Chris Roush, a business journalism professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, said the campaign takes a strong competitive stance against CNBC. “I see them competing against CNBC more directly than they ever have before, and the people who watch CNBC are not just the hard-core Wall Street people,” Mr. Roush said. “They are the people in Mississippi who have $100,000 in their 401(k) accounts and want to know what to do with it.”

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