Adland gets probed on effects of proposed TV companies merger

The Competition Commission is to send out a detailed survey to advertising agencies and advertisers asking about their relationship with Carlton, United News & Media and Granada as it reviews the merger proposals put forward by the three companies.

The Competition Commission is to send out a detailed survey to

advertising agencies and advertisers asking about their relationship

with Carlton, United News & Media and Granada as it reviews the merger

proposals put forward by the three companies.



The Commission will ask about TV negotiations, ad rates, and how these

will be affected. It will also ask for a perspective from companies on

how many TV companies they have advertised on during the past year and

how they decide which media to use.



The questionnaire asks whether any of the TV sales houses practise

negotiation constraints and whether these would be affected by the

proposed mergers.



It questions how the ad rates of the different TV stations compare and

to what extent they have changed during the past three years. Agencies

are then asked how they think ad rates would change should any proposed

merger go through.



The final part of the survey looks at the extent to which the three ITV

sales houses are substitutes for each other and which channels are

alternatives to ITV. It asks whether there are any examples of campaigns

where it would have been difficult for an advertiser to achieve the

coverage they needed without ITV.



In December Lord Hollick, the chairman of United News & Media, and

Michael Green, Carlton’s chairman, proposed a merger of the two

companies. At the beginning of this year Granada said it would be

interested in merging with either company.



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