Big names wade in to attack TV

Advertisers gave voice to a growing disillusionment with the role of television at Marketing Week‘s 2005 TV conference in Paris last week.

Big names such as Procter & Gamble, BT and Sony all revealed that they have been cutting their TV budgets.

BT head of media trading and operations Steve Huddleston said that the telecoms company’s TV advertising budget is now less than 40 per cent of the &£70m it spent five years ago. Across the same period, it had increased its spend on internet advertising from &£2m to &£15m, he added.

He explained: “It is not about the effectiveness of TV declining, but more about other media being more effective.”

P&G associate director of media Bernard Balderston said that the household goods company had also reduced the percentage of its media budget devoted to TV, while Sony’s general manager of marketing communications for its consumer products division, Paul Hide, said he is trying to drive sales using other media that deliver segmentation – such as direct marketing and the internet – rather than mass reach.

Unilever global media director Alan Rutherford also expressed concerns about TV’s effectiveness, claiming that on average it takes ten per cent more ratings to achieve the same level of awareness that it did five years ago.

Fighting back for broadcasters was Channel 4 head of strategic sales Mike Parker, who said: “TV is in a robust state… and it’s more affordable than it has ever been.”

And not all advertisers are moving spend away from the medium. Levi’s European marketing director Sue Chidler said that her company had increased its TV advertising budget for the spring by 34 per cent over the same period last year, because it found that the medium was helping to reverse a decline in sales of its 501 brand.

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