Blow to ISBA as Ofcom approves joint sales

The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) has expressed “disappointment” with Ofcom’s decision to axe rules banning the joint selling of airtime.

The move paves the way for Channel 4, BSkyB and Five to sell their airtime jointly, subject to approval from the competition authorities.

An ISBA spokesman says: “We are a bit disappointed about the decision on the joint selling of airtime sales rules. It is a concern of ours that lifting the ban will leave the way open for further consolidation of airtime sales.”

Ofcom launched a consultation on the Independent Television Commission’s airtime sales rules following the decision to allow Carlton and Granada to merge and form one sales house with more than 50 per cent of TV advertising revenue. The rules had prevented media owners with a share of TV advertising revenue greater than five per cent from jointly selling airtime.

Industry insiders say that it is unlikely that Channel 4, BSkyB or Five will immediately make moves to consolidate their sales operations and even if there was any further consolidation, it would be in the form of a combination of two of these three players or smaller TV sales operations.

A Channel 4 spokesman says: “We believe competition law will be an adequate defence against market dominance. However, we have no plans at present to change the basis on which we sell airtime.”

Ofcom has also decided that conditional selling and the withholding of advertising airtime by analogue terrestrial channels will continue to be prohibited.

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