Chapter 131 – China’s style business negotiations
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CCTV was having a meeting. The leaders of CCTV were frowning and in front of them was a proposal written by Cheng Baojun. No one was saying anything.
The TV station’s Chief waited for a long time, and he cleared his throat, breaking the silence: “What does everyone think of Xiao Cheng’s proposal? Tell me your opinions. Deputy Station Chief Jia, you are in charge of the advertisement division. You start first.”
Deputy Station Chief Jia was named as the first to start. He bit the bullet and said: “Chief and colleagues, every one of us knows that our TV station’s funds are running low. When Section Chief Cheng showed me his proposal, I am also in a dilemma. Can we do this? But from another perspective, is this a violation of the regulations? Everybody can see the benefits if we go ahead with this proposal. Our advertising fee will increase greatly, and with sufficient funds, we can provide our viewers with quality programs. So, I support this proposal!”
After someone starts the ball rolling, the others also voiced out their opinions. Some felt that this was walking a fine line. Last year, CCTV had just got the approval to air commercials, and if they introduce this program sponsorship idea, other Provincial TV stations would also follow suit. Then they would be the first to be punished if anything goes wrong.
There were some who supported this idea. Why were TV stations allowing advertisers to advertise? It’s all about revenue. Before last year, the TV station was in financial difficulties, and after they could air commercials, their finances became better. Furthermore, the provincial TV stations were leading CCTV a lot of advertisement revenues. This was a disgrace to CCTV.
Everyone voiced their opinions and argued over this proposal. Both sides could not convince each other. Everybody seems to have their own reasonings, but they also could not refute others. In the end, everyone looked at the TV Station Chief for him to make the final decision.
The Chief looked at those deputies and sneered. If this proposal goes through, and the Broadcasting Ministry does not say anything, then the credit belongs to everybody here in this room. But if the Broadcasting Ministry penalized them, then he would be the one taking take blame!
But now, the situation at CCTV was dire. The Annual Spring Festival program was a headache for them. Even though the government gave them the budget for this show, it was not enough. This proposal was not about some small advertisements. This involves a few million RMB of advertising fees. How could he let go of this opportunity?
“Let’s vote to decide. Those that oppose raise your hands. Those that did not raise your hands means you all agree to go ahead with this proposal. Let’s start.” The Station Chief directly stop those that want to remain neutral. It was either you agree or disagree. There were no other choices.
“Ok. The voting ended. 5 votes for agreeing and 4 votes for disagreeing. We will implement this proposal! But I wish to state 2 things. Personally, I do not like this idea. A proper program, when added the company’s name, would make it sound like this was their program. Also, other advertising methods must be considered as well. Xiao Cheng, take note of this and negotiate with the other party. Take care not to violate any regulations!”
Cheng Baojun stood up and promised that he will get this task done!
The Chief then wrote down his opinions on the proposal. Basically, he agreed to this proposal, but the details need to be discussed further. Cheng Baojun was handed the task of submitting this proposal to the higher-ups for approval.
In that era, advertisements were not decided by the TV stations alone. The advertisements needed the approval of various government agencies and most importantly, the Broadcasting Ministry.
The Broadcasting Ministry was not the same as the leaders at CCTV. They could accept advertisements but would never agree to add the company’s name to the program title. The leader there even scolded Cheng Baojun saying he was greedy.
Basically, the words of the leader there could be translated to: Who are we? Who do we represent? What’s the purpose of us doing TV programs? We must get the fees, but we do not agree to the advertiser’s terms!
Cheng Baojun was frustrated. Get the advertising fees but don’t allow them to add the company’s name to the title? He does not know how to do this. He can only contact Feng Yu to discuss further.
“Section Chief, have you eaten? I had made a reservation at Dong Lai Shun restaurant. Yes. It’s just my colleague and me. Bring some people with you too.”
Century-old Dong Lai Shun, number one halal food in the capital!
Dong Lai Shun restaurant was an old restaurant. It was famous in Beijing since the 1930s. The mutton hotpot was famous throughout China, and even the State’s leaders entertained foreign delegations at this restaurant.
When Cheng Baojun heard that Feng Yu was inviting him to Dong Lai Shun restaurant, his thoughts were all about the delicious mutton hotpot. Even though he politely tried to reject Feng Yu’s invitation, he still brought 2 of his staff with him and rushed over to the restaurant.
Feng Yu had wanted to invite Zhang Ruiqiang’s friend but was rejected. So, Feng Yu wished to ask Cheng Baojun and just happened the latter called him.
Plates of mutton were served and consumed. Feng Yu did not care about table manners, and this made Cheng Baojun felt at ease.
They finished eating and started drinking.
Cheng Baojun put down his glass and start talking about the advertisements. It was the Chinese tradition to talk about business while drinking. How can business negotiations be without alcohol?
If the negotiation is successful, then they can have toast. If not, open another bottle and carry on!
Cheng Baojun said: “Manager Feng, Manager Wu. I had submitted your advertising proposal to the higher-ups, but it was not approved! It’s not totally rejected but it’s only the title of the program cannot be changed! Maybe we can think of other ways?”
Cannot do change the title of the program? Feng Yu was disappointed. If this were approved, then the advertising slot taken by other advertisers would no longer matter to him. The advertiser that bought the time slot he wanted was Yanwu, a company that sells cassette recorders.
Feng Yu’s house also had a Yanwu cassette recorder. Yanwu was monopolizing China’s market at that time. But within a few years, the appearance of VCD would cause the demise of Yanwu!
Now, Feng Yu can’t add his company’s name to the title, but he still had other ways. If that still does not work, then he can only give up.
“Since I can’t add my company’s name to the title, then at the start and end of the program, can you add in the words that “this program was exclusively sponsored by Wind and Rain humidifiers”? If the stage cannot display our logo, then you must place our humidifiers at an eye-catching place on the stage? It must be captured by the cameras. We can also use your program’s name for our advertisements in the papers. For instance, Wind and Rain Humidifiers is the exclusive sponsors of the program
The exclusive sponsor was another way of changing the title of the program. Since there were no other companies who did program title advertising, then exclusive sponsorship was almost about the same thing and will not disgrace CCTV. Most importantly, Feng Yu wants to make use of product placements in the program to show the viewers his humidifiers producing mist beside the host. Can the viewers not be curious? Coupled with his advertisements bombardment, his Wind and Rain humidifiers would be famous in no time! If this still doesn’t work, Feng Yu had no other ways!
“This…… seems to be not a problem. It should get approved.” Cheng Baojun nodded. His eyes were already red from the drinking.
“There is still a condition. If your program cannot mention my company or the product, it’s fine. But the host of
In that era, there were not many TV stars that shoot commercials. But the host, Shen Li was more popular than most of the TV stars. If Shen Li can help Wind and Rain Humidifier shoot the commercial and with the help of CCTV, the effects would be more significant!
If Cheng Baojun doesn’t agree, then Wu Zhigang will continue to bottoms up with him!
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