ISBA moves to end TV trading system

UK advertisers are working on explosive proposals that could fundamentally overhaul the way television advertising campaigns are bought. The initiative could pose a serious threat to ITV and finally do away with Station Average Price.

UK advertisers are working on explosive proposals that could

fundamentally overhaul the way television advertising campaigns are

bought. The initiative could pose a serious threat to ITV and finally do

away with Station Average Price.



The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers is thrashing out

proposals to challenge the television airtime trading mechanism and

replace it with airtime deals based on the audience performance of

commercial television channels.



Airtime on most TV channels is currently costed on a supply-and-demand

principle, based around the Station Average Price mechanism. The result

on ITV has been periods of high airtime inflation, with too many

advertisers chasing too few viewers.



A memo to ISBA’s TV Action Group, leaked to Campaign, states: ’The time

has come to challenge this basis of trading which has arguably served

some broadcasters - particularly the largest suppliers of commercial

audiences - better than it has served advertisers.’



At the same time, many advertisers are trying to resist pressure to

commit a fixed share of their total television expenditure to TV

channels which do not have to make similar guarantees in terms of

delivery.



Now ISBA is recommending that its members encourage their media agencies

to couple the share of expenditure to broadcasters’ audience performance

against relevant target audiences.



According to the memo, written by ISBA’s director of media and

advertising affairs, Bob Wootton, the proposals ’will help finally to

move the whole UK TV marketplace to a system in which advertisers can

negotiate with all broadcasters on the merits of their individual needs

and the broadcasters’ ability to meet those needs’.



Wootton said the document was still for discussion only, but that it

should make people think again about TV deals. ’The key is that it moves

the conversation on from using Station Average Price as a whipping boy.

This is the next step.’



One leading advertiser said: ’As advice to unsophisticated clients, it’s

sensible enough - but more sophisticated clients are also interested in

addressing issues such as coverage and frequency and position in break.’



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