Advertisers want ITV sales ‘cartel’ broken

Two-thirds of advertisers believe that ITV’s current sales structure needs stricter control and are opposed to any reduction in the number of sales points from the current three.

A Carat Research survey of advertisers’ attitudes to the Broadcasting Bill found advertisers completely opposed to increasing the ITV sales houses’ share of revenue from the current 25 per cent limit.

“They want less of a cartel,” says Alan Copage, director of Carat Research. “They are inherently unhappy that the small number of sales points mean fair negotiations are impossible.”

Nine out of ten advertisers believe that Channel 5 will split audiences without increasing total television viewing, and 51 per cent believe that C5 will not reduce TV airtime costs.

“Personally, I think advertisers are being unnecessarily conserv ative about C5’s effect,” says Copage. “Unlike the cable and satellite companies which can raise revenues from subscription and therefore afford to sit on their airtime rates, Channel 5 will need to negotiate.”

Advertisers were evenly split on whether the BBC should take advertising on its terrestrial channels, but 59 per cent believe its new digital services should be open to advertising.

A small majority of advertisers would like to see advertising on BBC Radio 1 and 2 and Carat is now planning research into public attitudes to BBC Radio carrying advertising.

A majority of advertisers – 54 per cent – believe their businesses have seen no benefit from the increase in the number of TV channels in the UK.

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