3 Questions on Digital Ad Buys With Scripps' Beth Lawrence

Beth Lawrence, evp, Digital Ad Sales for Scripps Network Interactive, recently joined the SNI team from The Weather Channel. We caught up with her at the company’s upfront Tues to chat about dynamic ad insertion and working closely with the television ad sales team to ensure integrated media buys.
 
When will dynamic ad insertion be available for digital buys?
 
We will have dynamic ad insertion with VOD very soon, like the next couple of months. From what we can tell it’s really just Scripps and NBC [that use it]. So the digital team at Scripps will sell VOD after the C3 window, from day 4 on.
 
Are television and digital ad departments still siloed when it comes to media buys, or is there some improvement on that front? How are you working with the television team?
 
We’re working really closely with the television team. So [evp, ad sales & marketing] Jon [Steinlauf] runs television and I run digital. We’re basically attached at the hip during this upfront season. The other thing that we did is the digital team went to market this year in the home and food categories. It used to be [that] the digital sellers just sold everything, but now it’s the home digital team and the food digital team. Except in some of the regions–you have to have scale in order to break out into categories. So there are some who sell everything.
 
So the department is restructuring how it sells advertising?
 
Basically, we have a new svp for food/digital. And we’re hiring an svp for home/digital. The idea is that those two are completely in lock step with those svps on the television side as well, so the story comes closer together and makes a ton of sense for the advertising community. It’s intuitive for me here because I came from Weather and I was responsible for all of it—television as well as mobile. I see how it works when you tell one story. And here, we’re trying to tell one story.
 
For more coverage on Scripps’ upfront, including programming announcements, go here (sub required).

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