ITV ad revenue set to ‘break even’ for first time since CRR introduced

ITV is set to “break even” on advertising revenue for the first time since Contracts Rights Renewal (CRR) was introduced, according to calculations by rival sales houses and media agencies.

A number of sources have suggested that although ITV1 is expected to lose ad revenue in 2008, its loss will be “matched pound for pound” by investment in the broadcaster’s digital portfolio.

It will mark the first time the broadcaster has maintained the whole of its CRR share since the mechanism was introduced in 2004. It has lost more than £300m through CRR mechanisms over that period.

One media buyer says ITV went into the trading season telling agencies its ambition was to retain 100% of CRR. “That appears to have been successful,” he says.

The news follows the deadline last week for “interested parties” to submit evidence to the Office of Fair Trading after it launched a review of the mechanism with Ofcom earlier this year.

Rival broadcasters say that ITV has found a way to “make CRR work for it”. The mechanism is supposed to protect advertisers and rivals from a dominant ITV and stipulates that falling viewers will lead to an automatic fall in ad spend. However, ITV has been able to offset falls on ITV1 with its growing digital portfolio, which includes ITV2 and CITV.

The Department for Trade and Industry promised a review of the mechanism earlier this year, following lobbying from ITV. Rivals now believe that tougher measures might be needed.

One source says: “CRR is there for a reason: if you take the muzzle off the dog then the dog will bite.”

ITV lost about £60m across its channels last year and £170m in 2006. It has constantly lobbied the regulators to review CRR, despite the measure being put in place, at ITV’s suggestion – a counterbalance to the merger of Carlton and Granada.


Pearson reports profits rise

Marketing Week

Pearson, the owner of the Financial Times, has reported positive results for 2007 driven by growth in its digital and subscription revenue at the FT. It has exceeded analysts’ expectations by announcing a 9% increase in pre-tax profits to £549 for the year. The publisher says that every part of the business, which also includes […]

Westfield awards Adam & Eve 5m ad account

Marketing Week

Westfield, the Australian shopping centre company behind the 1.6bn White City complex opening this year, has appointed Adam & Eve to its 5m advertising account. A consumer launch campaign, including press, outdoor and TV spots, will break later this year.

Bulmers Pear launches first above-the-line UK campaign

Marketing Week

Bulmers Pear, the premium, packaged over-ice cider, is launching its first above-the-line campaign, to start on March 10. Created by Glasgow-based agency Frame, the campaign will include 6,000 six-sheet poster sites across the UK, with 20 Mega-6 sites in London, Birmingham and Manchester, and Glasgow’s giant LED CityScreen. The media planning and buying is through […]


    Leave a comment