ITV pushes ‘event TV’ credentials

ITV is launching a major offensive that aims to position it as the home of “event TV” and encourage advertisers to increase their spend around shows such as The X Factor and Coronation Street.

The move comes ahead of its annual sales negotiations and coincides with the broadcaster’s pledge to keep its £1bn investment in programming, despite a downturn in ad revenue and Channel 4 cutting its programming budget.

Rupert Howell, managing director of commercial and brand, says: “We have to stop the deflation in the market. We have ‘enjoyed’ more than 10% deflation in the market and that’s madness. Talent costs aren’t going down and production costs have not gone down. Impacts have gone up and this is not good for anyone who invests in content.”

ITV has completed re-search into advertising around event TV, such as sports and soaps, that indicates such shows create real “fans” of programmes and genres.

The commercial broadcaster says viewers are 15% more likely to like the products advertised during such a broadcast, 15% more likely to discuss them and over 20% more likely to consider purchasing because of the halo effect round the content.

The new strategy will include trade marketing around the event-TV research. Howell says it helps prove “more than ever” the effectiveness of TV in general and ITV in particular.

Although ITV has shared research with advertisers before, this is the first time that such a high profile ITV figure as Howell has presented it as a core part of the broadcaster’s strategy.

Howell adds it is the first time anyone has tried to quantify the halo effect of advertising around programming.

See Leader, page 17

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