The Financial Times (FT) is reporting that Twitter has struck a major deal with agency Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), which is part of agency holding company Publicis. The deal, according to FT, is worth “hundreds of millions of dollars over a multiyear period.”
SMG clients include major brands such as Burger King, Comcast-NBCU, Honda, P&G, Coke, Microsoft and many others. The deal is being characterized as a “partnership.” Years ago Publicis announced something similar with Google.
As the FT points out, this announcement comes just ahead of the TV “upfront” where advertisers commit budgets to broadcast and cable TV — and may put pressure on other brands to move more money into digital or do copycat deals.
The internet is quickly encroaching on TV’s ad revenue dominance, although broadcast + cable still far outstrip internet ad revenues.
Source: IAB, PwC 2012 full year report
Twitter more than any other digital entity has built a connection to TV, with many brands adopting the #hastag as a promotional tool in their television ads. That was most prominently seen during the Superbowl, where Twitter was referenced far more often than Facebook.
Twitter is now seen by many advertisers as a kind of extension or complement to TV content and brand advertising in a way that Google, Yahoo and even Facebook are currently not. That puts Twitter in a very strong position to grab more brand digital ad revenue — as evidenced by the SMG deal. The deal presumably includes both PC and mobile ad distribution.