Ethnic media: SMI knows best

I hope when the IPA looks at the radio industry it will not spend too long on “theoretical worries” arising from concentration and focus more on how the leading companies have actually exercised their power.

In this case, Capital Radio seems to be most under scrutiny. But the majority of observers in the radio industry would applaud Capital for all the work it has done (including the pre-RAB days) to build its medium.

What a fine example of responsible industry leadership. Why should it be penalised for being successful? Rather than initiating any pre-emptive strike to stop Capital getting stronger, why not give it the opportunity to show how it will operate – a presumption of innocence rather than guilt? After all, the industry, and even the OFT, would have plenty of opportunity to intervene should it decide to abuse its position (which I believe it will not). Most important of all, advertisers can always vote with their feet, either moving to another contractor in the same medium or switching media altogether.

In “secondary” media, such as radio and outdoor, scale counts for a lot, given the high fixed costs. Attention needs to focus more on how the power is used, rather than on the size of the power itself.

Francis Goodwin

Joint managing director

Maiden Outdoor

London W1

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