ISBA criticises ITC and blasts ITV’s ’disarray’

Advertisers have launched another blistering attack on ITV and have also accused the Independent Television Commission of being out of touch with the advertising and marketing worlds.

Advertisers have launched another blistering attack on ITV and have

also accused the Independent Television Commission of being out of touch

with the advertising and marketing worlds.



The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers claims there is

’disarray within ITV’, caused partly by it ’having rested too long on

its past glories’ but mainly by a regulatory system in which ITV

companies bid against each other for franchises rather than unite to

boost audiences.



The criticism emerged this week in a memorandum to the Commons select

committee on culture, submitted in confidence earlier this year. Last

month, MPs acted on all the recommendations they received and called for

a single communications regulator (Campaign, 22 May).



ISBA’s evidence will continue to be considered by the Government as it

finalises a green paper on the regulation of communications, expected

next month.



ISBA rejects the idea of curbing the growing commercialism of the BBC,

but it argues that ITV should enjoy the same freedom. It renews its call

for advertising minutage on ITV to be increased to that allowed on cable

and satellite, and complains its proposal was ’summarily and curtly

dismissed by the ITC’.



ISBA suggests that the ITC is given a ’duty of care’ to advertisers as

well as viewers.



The memo says: ’None of the commissioners has, to ISBA’s knowledge, any

significant practical experience of marketing and advertising matters,

and it is thus at the mercy of viewer and consumerist groups.’



ISBA is urging Chris Smith, the culture secretary, to correct this

imbalance by appointing at least one commissioner with commercial

consumer marketing skills.



The ITC this week rejected the criticism, saying that two of its ten

members have marketing experience - Sir Michael Checkland, the former

BBC director-general, and Maria Maloney, former marketing and business

development manager at Belfast’s Harland and Wolf shipyard.



’Commission members are appointed for their broad range of

experience.



Specialist advice on advertising and marketing comes from staff,’ an ITC

spokesman said.



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