The commercial radio industry has responded to calls from the
Institute of Practitioners in Advertising and agreed to create a
standardised system of trading.
The decision, which represents a major step forward in radio
accountability, comes in the wake of Capital Radio’s takeover of Virgin.
It was reached last week at a meeting between the Radio Advertising
Bureau and senior station chiefs, including Richard Eyre, the newly
appointed chief executive of Capital, and Tim Schoonmaker, chief
executive of Emap Radio.
Both sides made a firm commitment to make the process of buying and
selling radio more user-friendly and efficient. This will involve the
installation of uniform electronic methods of communication between
sales points and agencies at the time of booking the campaign. It should
also lead to a standard transmission report - the statement of where and
when spots ran - which varies substantially from station to sales group
at the moment.
As part of the process, the industry has also agreed to set up a working
body to be known as the Joint Industry Commercial Radio IT Futures group
(JICRIT), which will continue to focus the industry’s attention on radio
The move towards a standard system of trading began last March when the
RAB undertook detailed research into the issue of accountability. Justin
Sampson, the director of operations at the RAB, said: ’The message came
back that clients wanted an electronic system to look at campaigns
across all stations. We presented this to the IPA who welcomed the
proposals but also called for the development of electronic information
at the pre-campaign stage.’
Derek Morris, the IPA’s radio spokesman, commented: ’The Capital/Virgin
deal means there could be as many as five major radio sales houses and a
window of opportunity to use and observe a common system.
Following the RAB’s initiative, we wanted to go one step further. This
new proposal will reduce the amount of time spent trading and increase
time spent selling.’
Sampson added: ’The process of buying and planning can be an
administrative burden. More efficient systems will mean planners can
spend more time planning and sellers selling their station.’