ISBA reiterates objection to TV advertising share deals

The controversial subject of TV advertising share deals has emerged as a key issue in the Competition Commission’s inquiry into whether ITV should be controlled by just two companies.

The controversial subject of TV advertising share deals has emerged

as a key issue in the Competition Commission’s inquiry into whether ITV

should be controlled by just two companies.



The advertiser body ISBA made a submission to the Competition Commission

last week making it clear that share deals are not always in

advertisers’ best interests and implying that any further concentration

of ITV ownership could exacerbate this problem.



The fact that the issue of share deals has now come before the

Competition Commission has provoked a nervous reaction from the

broadcasters. Share of broadcast deals, whereby an advertiser or a media

agency is required to commit a percentage of its budget to a broadcaster

in return for a discount, sparked a furore two years ago when there were

fears that an ITV-wide share of broadcast sales policy was

anti-competitive.



Bob Wootton, director of media and advertising affairs at ISBA,

confirmed that ’our continued objection to share deals has now been made

clear to the Competition Commission’, although he added that the

objections have not been made any more forcibly than they have in the

past.



ISBA’s submission is also understood to have reiterated advertisers’

rejection of the idea of raising the amount of TV airtime that a single

sales house should be allowed to control above the existing 25 per cent

limit.



However, if the Competition Commission does decide to allow further ITV

consolidation, ISBA’s submission calls for a balance within ITV, both in

terms of the size of the two remaining ITV companies and in their

geographical spread.



The Competition Commission’s investigation has been sparked by the

proposed merger between Carlton Television and United News & Media and

the implications for advertisers are a key concern.



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