Clients call for referral on Carlton-United plan

Three of the top five advertisers are understood to have broken ranks from the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers to table their own requests that the proposed merger of Carlton and United News & Media be referred to the Competition Commission.

Three of the top five advertisers are understood to have broken

ranks from the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers to table

their own requests that the proposed merger of Carlton and United News &

Media be referred to the Competition Commission.



Some of the country’s biggest advertisers, thought to include Procter &

Gamble, have wasted no time in making their views clear to the Office of

Fair Trading, particularly after Granada raised the spectre of

Coronation Street being sold to the BBC.



In its discussions with major advertisers, Granada is understood to have

suggested that it might make more money selling its flagship Coronation

Street programme to the BBC if it was sidelined within the ownership

structure of ITV. Coronation Street regularly attracts around 18 million

viewers and is one of the most valuable TV advertising

opportunities.



All the broadcasters have been heavily lobbying the advertiser community

and the stakes have been raised since Granada announced last week that

it was prepared to make a premium offer for either Carlton or

United.



ISBA’s executive is preparing to rubberstamp its submission to the OFT,

also asking that the Carlton/United merger be referred. Advertisers are

concerned about the prospect of a single ITV company controlling more

than 35 per cent of TV revenue but also fear that a Carlton/United

merger could create a worrying north/south divide within the

network.



The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising is understood to have been

willing to try to work out a contract whereby a merged Carlton/United

would agree to retain separate sales operations within the existing 25

per cent of revenue limit for the next four to five years.



However, the IPA has decided to support ISBA’s position. Ray Kelly, the

chairman of the IPA’s Media Policy Group, said: ’ISBA and the IPA will

be in general accord on these issues; it’s very important that we are.’



Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).