ISBA slams ad survey by CIA arm

The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers has clashed with an agency over research showing that viewers would change channels if faced with more TV advertising.

ISBA director general John Hooper slammed the survey by CIA MediaLab as “useless” and “unhelpful and pointless” in front of delegates of the Marketing Forum conference last week.

The survey showed that 63 per cent of respondents would be “slightly or considerably annoyed” if there were to be any more minutes of advertising shown on TV.

ISBA has been lobbying the Independent Television Commission to raise the limit on advertising minutage on terrestrial TV, from an average of seven minutes an hour to nine minutes.

But ITV claims more minutage would weaken TV advertising’s impact and lose it viewers. Media buying agencies are also worried that more airtime would mean clients having to spend less, thereby cutting commissions for them.

“Hooper’s response was basically, ‘if you ask a stupid question you get a stupid answer’,” says Rob Norman, managing director of CIA Interactive, who presented the survey.

ISBA sources claim the clash was a sign of advertisers’ frustration with agencies. “These are their own ad agencies and they are not backing the clients’ call to increase minutage,” says a source. “If anything, many are opposing it. There is an awful lot of mucking around with ad hoc research that just muddies the water.”

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