ITV set to resist ISBA’s plea for more airtime

By CLAIRE BEALE, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 30 May 1997 12:00AM

ITV has mounted a defence of the existing restrictions on advertising minutage in the face of advertisers’ long-awaited paper calling for more commercial airtime on terrestrial television.

ITV has mounted a defence of the existing restrictions on

advertising minutage in the face of advertisers’ long-awaited paper

calling for more commercial airtime on terrestrial television.



While ITV has set up a working party to examine the Incorporated Society

of British Advertisers’ drive for an increase in commercial minutage,

the ITV companies’ reaction to ISBA’s submission on the matter to the

Independent Television Commission this week indicated a deep-seated

resistance to the proposals.



Clive Jones, the managing director of Carlton Television and head of

ITV’s marketing committee, said: ’It’s ironic given that ISBA supported

the increase in commercial TV channels. There’s been no increase in

total impacts, they’re just scattered over more channels. There’s an

inevitable economic reality here.’



Jones added that more minutage would add to screen clutter and

zapping.



’I can’t see how it would benefit the viewer or the advertiser.’



Ray Kelly, the chairman of the Institute of Practitioners in

Advertising’s Media Policy Group, said agencies were sympathetic to

advertisers’ calls for a quick fix to rampant inflation. But he

added:’We must ensure there is not a detrimental impact on advertising

effectiveness.’



Bob Wootton, the director of media services at ISBA, said the first

imperative was to change the minutage regulations. ISBA is proposing a

new ceiling of nine minutes per hour of commercial airtime. How much of

their inventory broadcasters must then sell - above a seven minutes per

hour minimum - would be a trading matter.



However, Wootton said extra minutage was a short-term solution. ’The big

solution is restoring decent audiences to commercial television.’



The ISBA paper - which compares the rising price of TV airtime with

other advertiser costs such as packaging and distribution - also claims

international advertisers could move money out of the UK and into other

European markets if inflation here is not brought under control.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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