Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Home Depot Goes After Their Competition

To All Traffic Managers:  
The information below applies to the Home Depot units scheduled as part of your inventory in 2011:
Our client, Home Depot, has requested at least 30 minutes separation from any other locally or nationally scheduled Home Depot product, service, proprietary brand, vendor or business unit. They have also requested a minimum of thirty minutes separation from competitors in the “big box” Home Improvement Category (defined below), including without limitation:
Lowe’s, Sears/K-Mart, True Value, Ace Hardware, Menards

The Home Improvement Category is defined as the following home improvement products including without limitation: indoor/outdoor building materials/supplies/tools (siding, cement, lumber), lawn and garden, shelving, storage and organization, plumbing, paint, electrical, power equipment, hardware, outdoor furniture, lawn mowers, kitchen and bath, appliances, window treatments (blinds, shutters), flooring (tile, carpet, hardwood), sheds, décor, heating and cooling, safety and security, lighting, and fans.
Please keep this in mind when scheduling Radio commercial inventory adjacent to your station’s local commercial breaks.  Thank you for your attention to these special requests.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call your Affiliate Services Representative.

I did not include the name of the network because this is Home Depot's idea not the networks.  Do you see who Home Depot considers it's competitors?
If a Home depot ad aired at the top of the hour during our national news, that would preclude all advertisers selling the items listed above from airing the rest of the hour because Home Depot usually buys several news spots in a row at the top of every hour.  Logic would put local ads at half past the hour but if the last Home Depot ad aired at the end of the news cast that would preclude the half past the hour slot and anything later would be too close to the ad coming again in the next news cast.
Luckily for me, this was not sent by ABC News and I don't carry much from this particular national radio network.

Can you imagine Humboldt County with a Home Depot?  Kiss people that sell the above products goodbye because Home Depot considers them on their list and they have more backing.  Big fish eat little fish.  Many of us will have to find something else to do for a living including myself as that list contains a major portion of the local ad dollars where I work.


  1. It is a request, Tom, not a command. What will happen if your very practical concerns prevent your stations from granting the request? What will happen when stations in bigger markets actually push back openly?

  2. If I were a station manager and a mega-corp like home depot sent me that, I'd purposely lump their ads in a manner exactly opposite their requests. They are, after all, requesting intentional favoritism at the behest of other advertisers. Revenue NOT missed if they didn't renew their commercial conract.

  3. What alarmed me the most about the letter was the list of items and services that they don't want advertised near their ad. That list is my advertisers. These are all the little stores that mostly go away when Home Depot enters the market.

    As for the radio network that is going along with this, I will think twice before signing up for any more of their programming.

  4. Most of the U.S. can purchase 99% of their needs between 2 stores: The Home Depot and Walmart.

    The Home Depot's request amounts to, in my opinion, a request for collusion in monopolizing both the advertising market as well as the home improvement market.

  5. I got a confirmation that this is just a request not to run their ads back to back with those listed. This is standard in the radio business.

    We always try to keep like advertisers separated.


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