Advertising to business travellers: TV or terminal?

BLOOMBERG TV, the boob-tube arm of Michael Bloomberg’s business news and information empire, is launching a huge new ad campaign aimed at business travellers passing through London, the Drum reports. The push will include video screens at rail and Underground stations and at Heathrow and London City airports, as well as 24-hour screens at offices in the City of London and print ads.It is a fascinating time for Bloomberg TV to be investing in expansion: ratings for CNBC, which wins 75% of cable business-news viewers, have hit a 20-year low among 25- to 54-year-olds, and average total daytime viewership for that network is half what it was in 2008. But perhaps Bloomberg sees its main competitor’s weakness as an opportunity. The media chattering class has long theorised that television is essentially a loss-leader for Bloomberg’s highly profitable terminal operation. If that is the case, Bloomberg TV is an especially expensive marketing tool. The network, which is now nearly 20 years old, has never drawn more than 10% of the business-news audience or turned a profit, and Bloomberg executives have at times considered exiting television altogether, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported late last year that the firm’s management was planning a shift in strategy.If the London ad campaign is part of Bloomberg TV’s new tack, I’d be interested to hear the …

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