Walt Disney is merging the ad-sales and promotions staffs for its media outlets targeting kids and family, hoping to attract more ad dollars from a broader range of marketers.
Walt Disney will now have one ad sales force for cable networks Disney Channel and Toon Disney, children’s programming on the ABC broadcast network, Radio Disney, Disney.com and Disney Adventures magazine. Disney says the reorganization was partly a response to requests from existing advertisers, and partly an effort to lure advertisers from outside the kids’ world, such as auto makers. The changes come in advance of the kids ‘upfront’ TV market, when TV outlets, including Disney, Viacom’s Nickelodeon and Time Warner’s Cartoon Network, sell the bulk of their commercial-time inventory for the coming programming season. Advertisers commit between $800 million and $900 million each year for TV programming aimed at toddlers, through young teenagers, but the market has been flat for the past few years and analysts expect this year to be no exception.