BET’s Head Marketing Exec Discusses The Network’s Best Year Ever
(Adweek) — It’s barely fourth quarter, and BET Networks is already having its best year ever. The Viacom cable network has seen record ratings growth for the last 18 months and a bigger, wider audience tuning in than ever before on the strength of shows such as “The Mo’Nique Show,” “Sunday Best,” “Tiny & Toya,” “106 & Park” and its signature BET Awards, 2009’s highest-rated non-sports cable telecast and one of 2010’s most-watched events of the summer. But getting to that point has not been easy for the network for Exec VP-Chief Marketing Officer Janet Rollé. As recently as 2007, BET’s ratings were at a standstill and the network was viewed as a risky environment for major marketers like State Farm and Home Depot, who pulled their ads from a reality show called “Hot Ghetto Mess.” Not to mention Procter & Gamble Co., which was urged by watchdog groups to pull its ads from controversial shows (it ultimately resisted).