ITV plans home shopping launch

ITV is planning to launch the first home shopping programme on terrestrial TV, sponsored by catalogue company Great Universal Stores.

The programme is scheduled to run on Yorkshire TV in May. If it goes well, the plan is to roll it out nationally.

The programme will be based on the standard chat show format. Products will be discussed between two presenters and then viewers will be given the opportunity to buy.

This poses problems for the channel because, according to the ITC guidelines on sponsorship, programmes cannot include phone numbers, which customers will need in order to purchase the goods.

An ITC spokeswoman adds: “I expect the programme to take the form of a how-to or information-based show.”

If the show were to feature products from the Great Universal catalogues this again would break ITC guidelines.

“We wouldn’t expect to see the sponsor’s clothes on the show,” warned the spokeswoman.

An insider at satellite home shopping channel Quality Value Convenience (QVC) says many broadcasters want to get into this market. Great Universal was not available for comment when Marketing Week went to press.

Cover story, page 40

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