CIA chief Fletcher demands greater radio accountability

Radio accountability must be improved and the need is all the more pressing in the light of the growing dominance of Capital Radio’s Media Sales & Marketing, according to CIA Medianetwork.

In a presentation to the IBC conference this week, director David Fletcher urges stations and sales houses to justify cost increases.

Further proof of what airtime is bought, and when, is also required, he says.

“We neither need nor want the introduction of station average price,” Fletcher adds. “It is the relative differences that are important – such as this year’s price compared with last year’s, or the price of an FM campaign compared with an AM one.”

He proposes an eight-point action plan for sales house reform. Closer links with stations, and sales houses representing fewer stations would aid this, he says. Sales houses should also treat all client stations with equal emphasis.

“There are potential conflicts of interest looming,” says Fletcher. “Capital is pitching hard for the big Yorkshire FM franchise but MS&M is already representing Metro radio in that region.”

Fletcher also wants: More justification of rates; actual spot times to be revealed 12 hours in advance; more consistent daypart pricing and more imaginative sales packages – such as offering “quality AM-only deals”, either locally or nationally.

“Stations could sell better value,” he adds. “More efficient campaigns, sold at a lower spot rate for local advertisers, would free valuable minutage.”

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