In a ninety-minute meeting with the Federal Trade Commission last week, the American Association of Advertising Agencies chewed the Feds’ broadloom on the planned liberalization of rules governing media ownership.

The agencies were up in arms over the issue, complaining that consolidation is placing too much ad negotiating power in the hands of the sellers, thereby driving up costs, reducing program diversity and – in certain instances – preventing advertisers such as smaller retailers from buying coverage within geographically limited areas.

The media buyers argued that the so-called ‘homogenization’ of local radio in tandem with cable consolidation, means that retailers with just a few outlets are finding it increasingly difficult to compete – as are marketers of regional products.

Agency representatives also challenged as fallacious the argument put forward by proponents of slacker ownership controls that marketers can easily substitute other media for television.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff