CARLTON GRANADA MERGER: Merger adds weight to plans for TV body to promote medium

The prospect of a TV industry marketing body has moved a step closer with the approval of the ITV merger.

TV chiefs had ruled out the creation of the equivalent of a Radio Advertising Bureau or Newspaper Marketing Agency until ITV's future had been determined.

However, TV bosses from each of the commercial TV companies have held recent meetings with the intention of establishing a marketing organisation to promote TV in the face of increased competition from other media.

At this year's TV United conference, ITV's commercial and marketing director, Jim Hytner, said the Communications Bill would create an evolution in the TV market and the issue of launching a marketing body could be addressed once the effects were more clearly known.

However, Hytner said this week: "There is a recognition that times have changed and we need to excite advertisers and agencies about our medium. We have agreed that once things have settled down we will get back together and talk about the situation."

In the past, ITV has attracted some criticism for attempting to market the medium in isolation. Its 2002 conference TV Matters led to rival broadcasters calling for a more united approach.

But it is keen to work with the other broadcasters on building the industry's image with advertisers once the Carlton and Granada merger has gone through.

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