ITV relaunches sales operation

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ITV Sales is relaunching as ITV Customer Relations, as the broadcaster shifts its focus from negotiations to planning.

It is replacing its three external-facing sales teams with two new departments: an integrated planning team and a trading team, which will be split into two. The sales teams are currently headed by controllers Simon Orpin, Jeremy Lawrence and Ben Allen. ITV Sales director Simon Lent is to become trading director, continuing to report to division managing director Gary Digby. The changes are effective from January.

ITV is also looking to appoint an integrated planning director, two account directors and ten other planners. The move comes as the broadcaster, responsible for advertising revenues of £1.4bn last year, faces losing up to £140m of ITV1 revenue under the Contract Rights Renewal mechanism in the upcoming trading season.

The broadcaster axed its customer relationship remit just 11 months ago, with customer relationship director Justin Sampson leaving the broadcaster in January.

His exit followed a management rejig in September last year that saw the departure of ITV Sales managing director Graham Duff and ITV Broadcasting chief executive Mick Desmond.

ITV has been moving its focus on being trading-led over recent months. It appointed advertising development director Nicky Buss from WPP-owned Research International as an indirect replacement for Sampson. She reports directly to commercial director Ian McCulloch.

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