ITV reinforces network identity

ITV’s efforts to create a consistent brand identity across the network will at long last appear on screen this autumn after years of internal wrangling.

All the ITV franchises in England and Wales will launch new idents at the start and end of each programme in the autumn schedule which for the first time will show the ITV name as well as the regional brands such as Granada, Yorkshire or Meridian.

The heart-shaped logo, known as a “break separater”, will be seen more, with a greater variety of creative styles, and the ITV slogan “TV from the heart of life” will also be used more regularly in programme promotions.

So far, the heart logo and ITV name have not been used consistently across the network, as some regions resist diluting their own identities.

The long-awaited strategy development, one of the Network Centre’s aims after it appointed ITV marketing and commercial director John Hardie two years ago, is a significant step in building the ITV brand.

One source says: “This has never happened before, with the whole network agreeing.”

Programme promotions are now made from one central unit and branded with the ITV logo. The news has changed its name to the ITV Evening News and the ITV Nightly News, for example.

But despite the new coherence across England and Wales, the two Scottish ITV franchises and Ulster Television – which have flatly refused to carry the generic heart-shaped ITV logo – will continue not to use the ITV name on screen.

Hardie, who is on holiday, has in the past denied a rift and said the Scottish opt-out was agreed from the beginning.

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