Euro TV brands that do matter

I am certain that the “senior pan-European TV buyer”, quoted in the article “MTV chief faces Euro challenge” (MW April 22), will have expected some reaction from the TV community over his comments.

The assertion that CNN and MTV are “the only brands that matter” in pan-European TV hugely undermines the medium in general, and many individual channels. The implication that Eurosport, Discovery and the BBC (to name but three) are brands that therefore don’t matter to advertisers betrays an ignorance of the growing audiences these channels attract, and their respective shares of advertising revenue.

A variety of global advertisers representing most major international buying points now include Eurosport as part of their marketing strategies. Xerox, McDonald’s, Carlsberg, Nokia and Gillette are examples of advertisers which may suggest that there are more than two brands on the block. David Pullan is right when he says: “It’s all about numbers.” Any advertising medium which relies solely upon the strength of its brand without the support of proven performance will not fulfil its potential.

Of course, it is wrong to judge the brand status of a TV channel purely upon the size of its audience and commercial appeal. Both CNN and MTV (and indeed Discovery) are well-established brands with strong identities. But how successfully have these brands, forged in the US, made the switch to the European arena? The same article outlines how local competition and the desire to attract local advertising revenue led MTV to “dismantle its pan-European network and split its feed into five (regional) services”.

The only truly pan-European research survey, EMS, demonstrates how Eurosport outperforms both MTV and CNN in terms of basic awareness among upmarket Europeans.

Eurosport’s research system, Network 7, based upon the measurements of meter panels in seven European territories, also demonstrates that the channel’s average per hour audience of 450,000 is the largest in pan-European TV.

The diversity of the advertising environment offered by pan-European TV is one of its key strengths. The worlds of music, current affairs, sport, business news and the natural world all benefit from coverage by dedicated niche channels – and so do advertisers.

Fortunately, I am confident that the growing number of advertisers using or considering the use of pan-European TV will be aware that there is more choice on offer than a certain media buyer would have you believe.

Dominic Burns

Deputy sales director


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