Tough Times Put Cheap Ads in Prime Time

Low airtime costs offer big audience to low-budget spots
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 27, 2009 9:35 AM CST

(Newser) – The recession has pushed TV advertising rates to a relative pittance, and that’s great news for tools like the PedEgg—a callous remover—and the Snuggie—a blanket with sleeves. Though it may hurt shows’ profiles, “Act Now!” infomercial-style ads have recently broken into primetime, the Washington Post reports. Broadcasters are loath to show the spots on premium shows, says an ad tracker, “but what are they going to do? They need the money.”

Hard times are always good for cheap, convenient products, and in a big month for TV watching, their prospects are even better, says a marketer of the items. But for the rest of us, the trend is not only cringe-inducing—"Are you embarrassed by ugly feet in sexy sandals?" asks the PedEgg spot—it's a bad sign. It's “not a reflection of the industry, it's a reflection of the general economy,” says a TV exec.