Like spring flowers, seasonal advertising is arriving later this year. How warm does it need to be in your market for someone to buy a pair of shorts? Or crave a Frappuccino at Starbucks? The answer varies in different parts of the country, and for a wide portion of the country a harsh winter led to a cool spring. The result is not unlike what’s going on with flowers in many gardens: spring advertising is tracking later than a year ago. “It varies, depending on what part of country you live in, but it does seem like we’re looking at a four-to-six week delay in some places,” says John Acello, a radio veteran who is now a vice president at Planalytics, a firm that works with marketers on fine-tuning their weather-related advertising strategies. “We help companies manage the weather and use it to their advantage when they can,” he explains. But there’s been a shortage of management necessary during the past year. While half the country learned what a polar vortex is, the other half has seen record wintertime drought. “For the last year it seems like the weather is the news no matter where you go and it’s really having an impact on the economy in a lot of profound ways,” Acello says. Radio managers in several markets say they haven’t so far seen the sort of spring-time blossoming in certain ad categories the industry has grown accustomed to. Media Monitors data shows ad volume from springtime advertisers like Scott’s and Allegra lags last year.
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