ITV moots top marketer to fight off competition

ITV is considering appointing a marketing director outside its marketing committee to combat increasing competition from cable, satellite and Channel 5.

The network is believed to be in the early stages of appointing a marketing director, who would be autonomous to the current ITV marketing body, chaired by LWT managing director Steve Morrison. The committee is also considering whether to fund a substantial increase in the current 6m annual marketing spend.

Programmers, sales house chiefs and representatives from the ITV Network Centre sit on the committee, formed last year to coordinate marketing across the channel. It appointed M&C Saatchi and The Network to handle its 6m budget in January (MW January 19).

An ITV source says the network has looked into bringing in a marketing director who would work closely with the marketing committee. However, there have been no interviews for the position.

The marketing committee’s leadership changes at the end of this year when deputy chairman Bowley and Morrison will automatically resign their positions.

ITV’s audience share has been eroded by the growth of cable and satellite and a resurgent BBC over the past 18 months.

The network’s decision to appoint a senior marketer may also stem from Channel 5’s launch next year with a heavy marketing campaign.

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