With L'Oréal Out, Tough-Sell Oscars Telecast May Still Be Looking for Sponsors

By Alesandra Dubin February 19, 2009, 12:15 PM EST

After L'Oréal Paris pulled out of Sunday's Oscar telecast, ABC may still be scrambling to find replacement sponsors, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Since 2004, the beauty brand's spend has added up to more than $40 million, and now the network has only days to fill a substantial chunk of unsold inventory. Last year, L'Oréal bought three minutes of airtime, the biggest allotment after General Motors, which announced in October it was pulling out of this year's show.

According to The Reporter, one reason it may be hard for the network to nail down a beauty brand is that the Academy Awards show itself may appeal to an older audience these days—which falls outside the category's demographic. Add to that a lousy ad market in the current economy, plus the fact that ABC has had to deal with the issue of last year's low ratings. According to Nielsen, only 32 million viewers watched the 80th Academy Awards, down from close to 40 million in 2007.

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