ITV denies ISBA inflation claims

ITV inflation is lower than that of other TV companies, both satellite and terrestrial, as well as cinema, radio and outdoor, says ITV chief executive Richard Eyre in a letter to advertisers revealed to Marketing Week.

The letter was sent to the UK’s leading advertisers to take the sting out of one sent by the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers, which called for an increase in the maximum amount of advertising allowed on ITV.

Eyre states: “The heart of the argument presented [by ISBA] is that ITV has a near-monopoly on commercial television, that it determines total market prices through this position and is thereby promoting media inflation. None of this is true. Most damaging is the assertion that this inflation, and by implication ITV, is harming the commercial success of British companies and even our competitiveness as a nation.”

He argues that inflation on ITV is lower than on many other media, while at the same time the total volume of advertising minutage has grown through the advent of cable, satellite and Channel 5. “One reason that advertisers may not have benefited from this growth in supply is that they have allowed the smaller channels to peg their prices to ITV’s. The scale of audience delivered by the newer players is much smaller, so might reasonably be thought to be substantially discounted. But this does not always happen.”

Eyre concludes by asking advertisers to contact him with their concerns.

One media buyer, who will write to ITV on behalf of his client, says: “Eyre is being very sensible. He wants the clients to speak to him directly. Each client’s business is different, with its own problems, which may not be addressed by the views of a collective body like ISBA.”

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