Advertisers resigned to single ITV

A massive majority of advertisers and agencies believe that prices for TV advertising will increase as a result of the Carlton and Granada merger.

Some 70 per cent thought that prices would rise, according to research from The Ingram Partnership. This figure rose to 78 per cent in the London area. Most respondents, 78 per cent, agreed that competition between Carlton and Granada had maintained stability in pricing.

A large majority of those questioned (74 per cent) also believed that there would be a secondary merger among the remaining ITV sales houses as a result of the Competition Commission's decision to allow ITV to operate a single sales house.

Most advertisers (80 per cent) and 75 per cent of media agencies feel that the current trading system acts against the interests of advertisers.

However, TIP's report showed a divergence of views between advertisers and agencies on the issue of Ofcom's proposed review of the TV trading system. While 67 per cent of advertisers believed the review will lead to changes being made, just 17 per cent of agencies concurred.

Chris Ingram, a managing partner at TIP, said: "Advertisers are further away from the process. They are frustrated with the current system and would like it to change while media agencies are frustrated with the current system but find it impossible to imagine how it could change."

Two-thirds of respondents believed that the ITV adjudicator will not be effective in controlling any abuses of power.

TIP asked 27 advertisers and media agencies what they thought about the Competition Commission's decision on the merger and Ingram was surprised that advertisers and media agencies had similar views on most questions.

He said: "Clearly advertisers, while not liking the system, are resigned to it. Their interests have been ignored but they are resigned to it."

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