Euro spat over TV ad minutage

The issue of broadcast time available for advertisers, currently the subject of debate in the UK, is just as heated a topic of concern across the rest of Europe.

In Germany, a poll by Horizont magazine of advertising agency chiefs and clients fou nd four out of 10 calling for a complete freeing of advertising on ARD and ZDF, the leading publicly-owned TV channels. Advertising time on ARD and ZDF is currently restricted to 20 minutes daily, none of which can be broadcast after 8pm. A further 25 per cent of clients and 37 per cent of agency heads said that the 20 minute limit should stay, but that half of that quota should be allowable after the 8pm deadline.

Rather than asking for more, recent pressure elsewhere has been for less.

The Spanish advertisers’ association (AEA), is calling on the country’s TV channels to respect rules on ad minutage. According to a study by Media Planning the number of ads broadcast grew by 20 per cent in 1997 (MW March 25)

Most recently, in Italy the Government has drafted a law which would limit available advertising opportunities. The draft is designed to bring Italy into line with EU norms.

The Italian Government’s interest in this area is mirrored by that of the nation’s “consultative users committee” (Consiglio consultivo degli utenti) which recently called for sanctions on TV stations which do not respect the rules. The committee’s call came following a ten-day study it conducted into broadcasting habits.

Among suggestions included in the Government’s draft directive are the banning of advertising in documentaries, TV news or children’s programmes of less than 30 minutes in length and the limiting of advertising during films to one break every 45 minutes. Advertising during football matches would be restricted to the half time break, though sports where no natural break exists, such as Grand Prix racing, could be interrupted by advertising.

Possible beneficiaries of any further limits on TV advertising might be the press, which is suffering from a long-term decline in sales. However, reaction among media professionals has generally been hostile to the proposals.

The arguments for and against limiting advertising minutage are familiar. Those in favour see excessively frequent or overlong breaks as undermining a channel’s integrity. Those against tend to argue that it is only through advertising that channels can meet the cost of producing and screening quality programming.

There is truth in both arguments, but ultimately the allocation of advertising minutage is a balancing act between commercial needs and programming objectives. In an increasingly competitive, expanding and fragmenting European TV market, achieving the right balance is becoming a key factor in building channel integrity for long-term commercial success.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here