Film companies up in arms over Evening Standard’s ad rate hike

The Evening Standard is to hike its advertising rates for film companies in a move that has been openly criticised by media buyers.

Several agencies report that rates for their film clients are to be priced at a premium – some 30 per cent higher – than the Standard’s regular clients. Independent film distributors are likely to be the worst hit.

Chris Watts, who handles the accounts for independents Momentum and Metrodome at Target NMI, says: “Our belief is that the Standard no longer represents good value. It is right for certain releases but we will have to work out whether it is worth paying that rate when we can use other routes.” Another buyer says that the hike raises doubts over the Standard’s suitability for film advertising.

One marketing manager for an independent film distributor adds that 70 per cent of the company’s business is done in London’s West End cinemas and The Evening Standard has been the main route to market so far. Insiders suggest that some film companies have already made a direct approach to Express Newspapers to discuss rates.

Alan Brydon, who was appointed ad sales director for the Evening Standard in October, refused to comment.

The Evening Standard, owned by Associated Newspapers, has been battling to establish a new sales trading platform as it faces the launch of a free evening product from Express Newspapers.

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