ITV sales house Laser is launching a new northern macro region to be known as Laser North. It will consist of Granada, Border and Yorkshire-Tyne Tees and, from January 1, airtime can be bought as a single unit.
Laser already operates the above regions as two large areas (macros): YTTV; and Granada and Border.
The company says advertisers will still be able to buy regions individually or by their existing macros.
Laser is part of the Granada Media Group and sells airtime and programme sponsorship on behalf of Granada, YTTV, LWT and Border Television. Granada Group acquired a controlling interest in YTTV in July.
A Laser spokeswoman denies speculation that the creation of the North macro will mean job cuts. She says: “Bringing together the four regions does not mean strong-arm tactics for advertisers. It is an opportunity.”
She points out the benefits to advertisers such as ease of negotiation, purchase and administration. A larger BARB panel of homes will give greater stability of ratings and hence, trading.
Stewart Butterfield, managing director of Granada UK Broadcasting, says: “This is a logical and sensible move, which naturally follows the acquisition of YTTV.”