ISBA Conference: ITV calls for open dialogue with marketers

ITV is “open for business” to advertisers and wants an open dialogue to ensure that the relationship between the two parties continues to thrive, according to the broadcaster’s commercial chief.

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Speaking at the ISBA conference in London today (18 March), Rupert Howell, managing director for brand and commercial at ITV, says “face to face dialogue” is necessary to ensure the broadcaster, marketers and their agencies continue to serve each others needs.

“Together we are stronger,” he adds.

Howell adds that the broadcaster’s recent return to profit, slowing advertising revenue declines and the appointment of Adam Crozier and Archie Norman as chief executive and chairman has left it cautious but “confident about the future.”

However, he slammed the “outdated, disproportionate and unnecessary” Contract Rights Renewal (CRR) system that he claims hinders ITV’s desire to produce “high quality content that delivers audiences” for it and advertisers.

His call to dump CRR was given a fillip by shadow culture minister Ed Vaizey at the conference who said the Tories would look to “relax and remove” as many of the “outdated” regulations that ITV is subject to, including CRR., if his party wins the May General Election.

The Competition Commission is currently considering comments on its final decision regarding CRR. It recently ruled that it will stay but suggested some amendments.

According to reports today, an unnamed senior government official has signalled that it has the power under the Interpretation Act 1978 to revoke the commission’s ruling without an act of Parliament.

The FT says that the chief whip in the House of Lords Lord Davies will now consider if it wants to use that power.

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