Carlton Sales appoints staff to handle Westcountry brief

Carlton Sales is recruiting staff to handle Westcountry TV’s airtime sales from June 1 – six months before its TSMS contract was due to end.

Carlton Sales is in the process of hiring 25 new sales staff to handle the West of England broadcaster. The addition of Westcountry’s 2.27 per cent share of ITV allows Carlton to claim the biggest ITV sales point with its three wholly-owned broadcasters, Westcountry, Carlton and Central.

In fact, the three ITV sales houses – Laser, TSMS and Carlton – are finely balanced with about one third of the market each. TSMS says the only redundancies it will suffer through losing the account are in its local sales operation for Westcountry in Plymouth. It expects the local sales staff to be taken on by Carlton.

The move has been expected since Carlton bought Westcountry from under the nose of TSMS’ parent United News & Media in December for 85m.

“We hope we can improve the broadcaster’s performance by targeting the telecoms and car sectors,” says Carlton sales director Steve Platt. “The area has been hard hit…because the mobile phone operators do not cover the far South West and so do not advertise there.”

Westcountry took 37.5m in ad revenue last year – about 2m of it from local advertisers.

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