Channel 5 appears to have concluded advertising deals with seven of
the top ten media-buying points after the fledgling channel’s advance
booking deadlines passed last week.
Many agencies were keen to prolong negotiations with the channel, but
most are now understood to be on board, despite the aggressive line
taken by the C5 sales team. Zenith Media, the UK’s largest buyer of TV
airtime, is understood to have held out until this week before signing
up to the station.
However, although the advance booking deadline passed last week,
agencies have until the end of this week to sign up and still be
considered supporters of the station.
The channel’s sales team, headed by the sales director, Nick Milligan,
has been offering advertisers 20 per cent off ITV’s average price for
broad demographic groups and 30 per cent off sub-groups.
Those agencies that have committed to the station are thought to have
been promised a share of any spare ratings, in line with their spend
Deals have been conducted on a client-by-client basis, although two of
the UK’s largest advertisers, Procter and Gamble and Unilever, are not
yet thought to have committed spend to the station.
One source said this would not be of real concern to Channel 5 because
’those advertisers are only interested in cheap airtime and you can pick
up your cheap advertisers at any time’.
Meanwhile, around seven million homes have been retuned to avoid
interference from the Channel 5 signal. The channel is dismissing fresh
reports that many homes will need new aerials to receive the signal.
According to sources at the station, 94 per cent of London will be able
to receive a clear picture. Ten per cent of the country will not receive
a Channel 5 signal, but these homes have not been included in the
company’s business plan.