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AD AGE HAS A-B PONYING UP $20M FOR SUPER BOWL EXCLUSIVITY
Published April 14, 1998
Anheuser-Busch is putting the "finishing touches" on a deal that will see it pay $20M for "exclusivity in the beer category and 10 Super Bowl spots" -- $2M for each 30-second commercial, according to Arndorfer & Ross of AD AGE. The A- B spots on Fox's broadcast of Super Bowl XXXIII represent a 54% increase from the $1.3M which most advertisers paid last year. The increase is 74% more than the $1.15M NBC "insiders" said A-B paid for exclusive spots during Super Bowl XXXII. A-B and Fox declined comment on the report, but Arndorfer & Ross note a source close to the deal said that A-B was "forced to the mat" by NFL sponsor Miller Brewing. In the past, Miller has run pre-and-post game ads, but this year, through its media-buying Starcom Media Services, the source said that Miller decided on a "very smart strategy: that it would either get on the [Super Bowl] or make it very, very expensive" for A-B. Miller last year inked a four-year, $300M partnership with Fox. But while Fox "would love" to use the $2M as a "benchmark" for what it can charge for a 30-second Super Bowl spot, most media execs said such a plan would be "problematic" (AD AGE, 4/13 issue).