In a bid to combat the slowdown in US adspend, NBC has become the latest media group to integrate sales of advertising space across its holdings, offering advertisers a single multimedia package.

The General Electric Company-owned broadcaster has already signed four advertisers to cross-selling unit NBC Connect, in deals with a combined value of over $20 million.

Marketers participating in the scheme receive bespoke packages encompassing spots on the flagship TV network, promotions and web ads. In media where the group has no holdings, such as print, NBC Connect “is using outside partners to embellish our offerings”, according to the network’s vp–marketing Ed O’Connell.

One of the quartet of advertisers already signed to NBC Connect is Viacom-owned film company Paramount Pictures, which is buying what the latter’s president–worldwide marketing Arthur Cohen describes as “an explosive combination of assets”. Paramount, which is promoting its new film Tomb Raider, will pursue its target audience of young men through advertising centred on NBC’s coverage of the National Basketball Association playoffs. The deal includes spots during basketball-based TV programs, sweepstakes on the NBA’s website and ads at the stadia and arenas from which NBC will broadcast.

The other three advertisers receiving multimedia packages are Nestlé Carnation, the Schlotzky’s delicatessen group and discount store chain Target.

Commented Keith Turner, president for sales and marketing at the NBC television network: “More advertisers and agencies are talking about one-stop shopping. We’re trying to sell across a number of platforms instead of talking to different people about network, cable, internet.”

NBC Connect is the latest in a series of similar schemes set up by media groups such as AOL Time Warner and MTV [WAMN: 01-Feb-01; 26-Mar-01].

However, warned Turner, the scheme can work “only if it makes sense and there’s a fit [across media] … if we’re trying to force inventory on someone who doesn’t need it, we’ll lose ground.” Such sentiments were echoed by Cohen, who continued: “It has to be a win-win for everybody. It’s not more complicated than that.”

News source: New York Times