ITV will next week set out targets for audience growth following
calls from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising for the network
to be more accountable.
Richard Eyre, the chief executive of ITV, has agreed in principle to
agency demands that ITV should improve its audience share against the
BBC, and specifically against a number of key demographics.
’We’re keen to create a fairly open relationship with all our customers,
and we’ve consulted with them about the sort of targets they would be
interested in seeing us meet,’ Eyre explained.
The IPA’s Media Policy Group wrote to Eyre at the end of last year
setting out specific targets for ITV’s audience share growth. These
involved a clear focus on taking audience from the BBC rather than from
other commercial channels.
The IPA also wants ITV to increase its audience share among younger and
upmarket viewers. ’There is no point in ITV increasing its audience if
the additional viewers are all over 55 years old,’ one IPA executive
The IPA wanted ITV to increase its share against the BBC by one share
point this year and a further 2.5 share points in 1999.
On Monday, Eyre will outline his vision for the future of ITV as
promised, 100 days after his appointment. He will set out ITV’s own
targets, which are understood to be slightly more ambitious. ’The BBC is
our main target, but we’ve calibrated our aims in a different way from
the IPA’s suggestions,’ Eyre said.
Eyre will focus ITV’s competitive aim directly at BBC 1, and is
understood to be keen to take the less mainstream BBC 2 out of the