BT is understood to have redirected about £15m of its 1995 TV spend from ITV to Channel 4, and has shifted £10m of its ITV spend to London Weekend Television from Carlton.
The London switch follows BT’s annual negotiations with ITV and is understood to be a result of Carlton’s decision not to offer the telecoms giant discounts comparable to those offered last year.
Carlton is now understood to have replaced BT’s money with advertisers paying a higher rate. The broadcaster declined to chase a London deal with BT’s media-buying agency IDK.
“Carlton has succeeded in moving its heavily-discounted business onto LWT,” says one agency broadcast director.
Industry sources believe Carlton-owned Central TV may also lose out on BT money as BT traditionally has a control region, which takes no TV advertising, and deals this year have been divided according to sales houses.
“Some you win, some you lose. You can’t take all the money all the time”, says Carlton sales director Steve Platt, who declined to comment on whether Carlton has pitched for the BT business.
Meanwhile, BT is under-stood to have put up to 30 per cent of its total terrestrial TV budget of £46.2m (Media Monitoring Services) into Channel 4.
This increases BT expenditure on Channel 4 from £2.8m last year to about £15m in 1995. The money will be spent on reaching an ABC1 male audience.
Channel 4 has been trying for two years to attract a substantial spend from BT but has been unable to agree terms.
Channel 4 and IDK declined to comment on the changes.
BT: Redirecting £25m ad spend