Advertisers pan media inflation

Advertisers say their budgets are not keeping up with TV inflation and believe ITV’s comedy and sports output is getting worse, according to a report published this week by media consultants Media Audits.

The 1995 Advertiser Survey covers 65 advertisers, which together control an annual ad spend of £500m. The report shows that clients are planning to increase their use of press and non-traditional media to avoid the rising costs of TV airtime.

The survey also shows that advertisers expect budgets to rise by an average of six per cent this year, while TV inflation is expected to hit ten per cent. “If costs go above inflation without increases in audiences, we will have to adjust the media mix,” says one.

When asked their opinion of the programme quality of TV, 49 per cent of advertisers believed ITV comedy output had declined in quality over the past year. Forty four per cent felt ITV sports coverage had declined, while only one per cent said it had improved. But half of the advertisers surveyed believed ITV’s drama programming had improved over the period.

Other points include:

* A third of advertisers pay their media agencies on a scale linked to buying performance. This compares to 11 per cent of advertisers in 1992.

* Two-thirds of advertisers do not believe station average price, the airtime trading currency, is an accurate measure of buying performance.

* Over a quarter of advertisers will review their agency in 1995, while two-thirds of respondents believe the best TV deals are secured by the ten largest buying points.

* The majority of advertisers are looking for Channel 5 to supply an audience akin to BBC2’s – young and upmarket.

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