Pemsel’s vision of ITV as ‘UK Disney’

ITV has ambitions to be the “UK Disney” says group marketing director David Pemsel, stating that previously it has wasted too much marketing value by failing to exploit merchandising and licensing opportunities.

Pemsel says the broadcaster has failed to capitalise on its in-house shows, such as Hell’s Kitchen, by focusing on driving viewers to the show itself, rather than exploiting avenues such as merchandising and licensing.

He says that the team is looking to create partnerships with other brands, such as retailers, from first commissioning a programme. The system is more akin to the US studio business, according to Pemsel, who adds that the broadcaster is in talks with partners about a handful of ITV Production entertainment shows that are due to air in the next 12 months.

ITV also wants to create brand manager roles for its hit shows and last month appointed Gustavo Antonioni to the new role of commercial brand director. Antonioni, who starts at ITV next month, will focus on exploiting ITVP shows globally. He has previously worked at Marvel Entertainment and Warner Bros.

Pemsel says: “Marketing is more than about advertising, it is about managing brands, creating value and eventually charging more.”[ITV] marketing had to up its game from ‘retailing’ to strategic marketing, brand management and franchise management. It’s a big step, and it’s certainly not what I was hired to do.”

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