Time for a sea change?

Josh Martin

If all goes according to plan – and that's a big if – the revolution will begin in 2007. That's when an industry task force of leading advertisers and media outlets hopes to launch a test of the e-Media Exchange. In that test, television advertising time will be exchanged in an online marketplace.

Lexus, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, Hewlett-Packard, and other large consumer goods manufactures and vendors are championing the initiative. The task force is working with eBay to develop and manage the framework and technology for the project. At stake is the way the $290 billion in media advertising is packaged and sold.

“A 30-second spot is a 30-second spot, no matter where it is being bought,” says Bob Liodice, president of the Association of National Advertisers, which has agreed to help facilitate discussion among its members of the pros and cons of the exchange. “The difference here is the process by which you buy and sell time.”