Leading industry figures hit back at criticisms of commercial TV

Leading TV industry figures hit back at the medium’s critics at ITV’s Television Matters conference this week.

Starcom MediaVest Group chief executive for Europe, the Middle East and Africa Mark Cranmer said: “TV is changing, but remains fundamentally strong.”

Comparing TV to other media, he claimed that more people each day chose to watch news through a commercial channel than buy a newspaper – 14 million as opposed to 11.5 million.

He added that audiences for repeat-based channels Paramount and UK Gold respectively equalled the reach of the top 18 and top 40 monthly magazines.

On the other hand, he pointed out that total display revenue had risen from £5.8bn to £7.5bn between 1996 and 2001, while TV had lost £179.8m in revenue and ITV £452.6m over the same period.

Cranmer said that the medium, despite being at a crossroads, remained powerful and that advertising and media agencies, broadcasters, and auditors should work together to understand any opportunities that the medium throws up.

PHD’s Louise Jones said that, despite the explosion in media choice, consumers on average were watching four hours of TV a day. Even if they had access to 200 TV channels, consumers had their own repertoire of ten to 15 channels.

Bartle Bogle Hegarty creative director John O’Keeffe also praised TV as a medium, because it allowed for creative, high-impact advertising, compared to new technology such as text messaging.

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