ITV under fire over lengthy ad deadlines

Gillette European media director Michael Winkler has called for Granada Enterprises and Carlton Media Sales to relax “old fashioned” advanced booking (AB) deadlines to bring them in line with other European TV channels.

Both ITV sales houses operate an AB deadline of about eight weeks for TV campaigns. European TV stations give advertisers lead times of four to six weeks before they incur penalties.

Advertisers that want to book campaigns once ITV’s AB deadline has expired are subject to a penalty of between 20 to 25 per cent of the associated advertising spend.

Winkler says if clearance has been given for a campaign after ITV’s AB deadline has expired, advertisers may wish to consider using alternative media or even decide to reallocate their TV spend to another market, rather than incur a penalty.

Winkler says: “AB deadlines can determine the countries we advertise in and the media we use.”

Traditionally Sky and Channel 4 have operated the same AB deadlines as ITV, but recent reports suggest they are being more flexible.

Granada Enterprises account director Alan Hodge says: “AB deadlines are designed to meet advertiser requirements. It’s a complex business.” Carlton Media Sales was unavailable for comment.

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