McDonald's and Visa pass on Super Bowl XL

According to an article from MediaWeek claims that Visa and McDonalds are going to refrain from ads during the Super Bowl in order to put those dollars towards the Winter Olympics Torino, Italy, which begin 5 days after SBXL.

Both are heavy Olympic advertisers and reason that their dollars will buy more exposure over the two-week Olympic run than 30 seconds during the game. One 30-second unit in the Olympics sells for about $700,000, roughly one-third the price of the upcoming Super Bowl.
"Spots in the Olympics are much cheaper, so you can run several to make up for the audience you would get in one Super Bowl spot, and there is no scrutiny about the creative level of commercials during the Olympics," said one media agency executive who buys ads for clients in both events.

The price for a 30-second spot is still at $2.4 million, which makes this year the third time in five years the price has not increased.

Media buyers also said last week that the inevitable flurry of critiques and consumer polls following the game, such as the one in USA Today, is giving advertisers pause.

"Some just don’t like the scrutiny that comes with advertising in the Super Bowl," said one ad agency executive.

Sources said McDonald’s was particularly miffed last year when its "Lincoln Fry" spot got spectacularly poor reviews among critics and consumers. The company had decided last year that if its spot didn't make the top 10 in the USA Today poll, it would not be back in the '06 game, sources said. McDonald’s had no comment.

According to the article other brands that will be returning include Anheuser-Busch (with 10 spots), GM's Cadillac (numbe of spots unknown), U.S. Ameriquest,, FedEx and Paramount.

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