Storied Broadcast Rep Firm Gets Into Online Ads

Petry Media, a 75-year-old broadcast advertising veteran, is now getting into the online advertising game with the creation of a digital sales division, called Digerati iSales.

Petry’s new division will initially focus on selling ads on behalf of television station Web sites around the country. The company sees its move online as a natural progression. In its original incarnation it sold radio ads, then moved to television when that medium emerged, said Lekaha Rao, director of public relations and advertising for Petry.

“Selling broadcast has been our bread and butter for the last 50 years, and we’re starting with what we know best,” said Rao. “But as we grow, and we expect to grow fast, who knows?”

The Digerati iSales division will leverage its network of contacts at television stations and thereby create a network effect by consolidating the audiences at those individual stations’ Web sites, Rao said.

“By aggregating them we can offer them scale they wouldn’t otherwise get by doing it piecemeal,” said Rao. “We provide them a very local audience, which is what advertisers want a lot of. By aggregating all the Web sites we can then provide an advertiser with a much wider audience from a very local perspective.”

As part of the year-long ramp up to launch Digerati iSales, Petry has developed a proprietary sales and online inventory management system that links the advertiser and the station’s Web site to Digerati’s order processing and billing software, according to the company. Digerati iSale joins Petry’s other divisions: Blair Television, Petry Television, and Petry International.

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