Sky survey is ‘distorting’ ad recall figures

I read with interest the news item “Ads get more attention on digital” – as claimed by BSkyB (MW last week).

I found it intriguing that a study based on the claimed favourite programmes of 2,000 adults seems to have come up with the long sought-after relationship between enjoying a programme and paying attention to the break. Many other channels have tried to do just this, but now the choice-laden digital environment claims to have found the answers. I beg to differ.

There’s a world of difference between claimed favourite programmes and actual viewing. Carlton’s study of young people’s media habits, “Nearly Normal”, compared a group’s TV-viewing diaries and their claimed favourite programmes. There proved to be big differences between what respondents said they liked and what was actually viewed.

Julian Dobinson’s claims for the enthusiasm of the digital viewer are at odds with a CIA Sensor report published this year, which stated: “More choice and superior EPG navigation have not eradicated the viewer’s sense of not being able to find anything to watch, and as viewer tolerance of the wrong programming decreases, so zapping is becoming ever more the norm.”

With regard to advertising effect, we defer to John Billett, who at this year’s TV-Madrid conference declared: “A rating point on either ITV or Channel 4 generates considerably greater advertising recall than a rating point on Sky One or UK Gold.”

The news article does pay some credit to ITV, stating that we are still watched and that the viewer has to choose to come out of the digital environment to do so. But the question should be, how much is ITV watched? In Sky Digital homes in May, the top 30 commercial programmes were on ITV. Of the top 100, only ten were non-terrestrial commercial channels’ programmes. And the claimed most popular programme in Sky’s research, E4’s ER, stands at number 184 in the top commercial programmes.

If you really want to understand the relationship between viewing and commercial responsiveness, tvSPAN has all the answers. It has proven that the attention paid to ITV and the sheer size of audience to its commercial breaks causes significant increases in purchases.

Martin Bowley

Chief executive

Carlton TV, London WC2

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

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

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big 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 are 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.

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