Vauxhall rap fuels ITV call for creativity

ITV bosses want more time spent on creative work and less emphasis on jokes in sponsorship credits in the aftermath of the World Cup bumpers from Vauxhall, which polarised opinion.

The break bumpers, consisting of “funny” voice-overs on football clips, were unpopular with programme makers and have been criticised as “irritating” by viewers. They have been described as inappropriate to the stature of the tournament.

But the break bumpers also had their supporters. Some observers saying they became progressively funnier and that they achieved very high awareness for the brand.

It is understood that ITV will try to discuss creative treatment much earlier in the process of putting together a programme sponsorship deal.

Vauxhall presented ITV with a creative concept, but individual scripts were often approved at a very late stage.

An insider adds that ITV will be more wary of using comic treatments. He says: “Comedy is hard. Creative agencies aren’t comedy writers. There’s a difference between a wry smile and a big laugh. We will be steering people away from this.”

Tim Brady, sponsorship director at ITV saleshouse TSMS, is currently looking for a sponsor for the station’s next major sports tournament – the Rugby World Cup in the autumn of 1999.

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