There has been quite a bit of controversy about the upcoming Academy Awards, or “Oscars.” Over the last few days, several prominent African-American celebrities have announced their intention to boycott the 88th Academy Awards due to the lack of diversity in the nominees, and they are encouraging others to do so as well.
This has stirred up some chatter about whether advertisers will start pulling their spots and how this will affect next year’s show. But the answers to both of those questions are they aren’t, and it won’t, and here’s why.
The ratings for the Oscars last year were down 17% from 2014 with 37.2 million viewers and a 20.6 household rating. This was the lowest delivery since 2009, yet the cost for a 30-second spot in 2015 was $1.9 million. Despite the drop in ratings, the price for the same spot rose this year to $2.15 million. Regardless of the ratings, the price for these spots continues to rise because of the demand for a slot in what is one of television’s last remaining big-reach vehicles.
Some advertising professionals spoke out about this; one media buyer stated “You’re talking about a media plan that’s been in the works for months. You know how many places I would have to go to secure those impressions?” Others empathized with the situation but were echoing the point that ABC—and their advertisers—have nothing to do with it.
ABC booked over $100 million in Oscars ad inventory last year, but only time will tell if that number will keep increasing, especially if the controversy continues.