Ah, good old Joe. Mandese started Monday’s “Upfront 2025 – 2026” with some “good news.” He said that five years from now we’ll be looking back on the creation of Bristol Myers’ Tesla-created COVID-19 vaccine that helped us gain immunity. But COVID-24 “has forced us at MediaPost to again postpone a physical event.” Indeed: Pandemic II had arrived. In 2025, said Mandese, we’ll have a President Harris, Facebook will have merged with Trump Nation, and it will have just one advertiser: My Pillow Guy.

MediaPost’s Mandese, who has been covering the upfronts since Ronald Reagan’s first term, asked his gathered panel, “Will there be an upfront in 2025?”

Carrie Drinkwater, Head of Investments at Mediahub, cautioned that there ought to be a more diverse group of people representing the upfronts but affirmed that “demand from premium advertisers looking for brand awareness will still be there. Clients and marketers will be chasing quality, culturally relevant content.”

“If the intention of upfront is an advanced purchase to get a benefit, said Catherine Warburton, Chief Investment Officer at 360i, “upfront will be with us. I am hoping the future will be more focused on clients than on the marketplace and agencies.”

Tim Hill, EVP, Integrated Investment at UM, agreed, but foresaw a smaller scene. “Flexibility will be generated by negotiations but some clients will want more than upfront can provide and may decide to opt out.”

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