Brands fight for first Y2K ad slot

ITV sales house Granada Media Sales is preparing to sell the first London advertisement of the new millennium to the highest bidder.

Abbey National and the COI are among advertisers interested in buying airtime in the opening minutes of the year 2000. Because this falls on a Saturday, it is part of the London Weekend Television franchise owned by Granada.

John Doyle, account director at Granada Media Sales, says about ten companies have shown an interest in advertising in the London region at this time, when attention will be focused on celebrations around the Millennium Dome and Big Ben.

The first of these was Kevin Glynn, account director at Carat, who approached Granada on March 25 1996 on behalf of Abbey National.

Doyle says: “This spot appeals to advertisers providing products and services in that period, such as holidays and telecoms companies as well as corporate advertisers seeking to restate their message.

“We are looking for a creative one-off, possibly for the last spot of 1999 as well.”

Granada Media Sales is expected to invite sealed bids for the historic slot. Glynn says: “It will be a very expensive spot in terms of cost per thousand, so it will have to work extra hard with what it is advertising.”

Doyle is also looking at selling a countdown-style package of spots in the run-up to the millennium in and around ITV’s news bulletins.

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