ITV sales houses warn buyers over World Cup effect

A row has erupted between ITV sales houses and TV buyers as the effects of last year’s World Cup continue to be felt in the airtime market.

A row has erupted between ITV sales houses and TV buyers as the

effects of last year’s World Cup continue to be felt in the airtime

market.



Last year, fmcg giants in particular pulled money forward from June to

avoid what they anticipated to be hugely inflated prices during the

World Cup. This created an artificially strong May and led ITV chiefs to

slam television buyers for missing out on what turned out to be

exceptional value during June’s football extravaganza.



This summer, sales houses are predicting a reversal in fortunes for the

months of May and June, with the May market likely to fall 10 per cent

year on year to around pounds 159 million, while early predictions

forecast a 10 per cent year-on-year uplift for June.



Mick Desmond, chief executive of Granada Media Sales, this week

criticised TV buyers for creating steep fluctuations in the TV market by

basing their buying patterns purely on last year’s figures.



He explained: ’We’ve now got a situation where the May market is hugely

deflated, despite several big sporting events, and June is inflated.

Where is the streetwise TV buyer now? Is the buying fraternity simply

going to make the same mistake all because they can’t look beyond what

they did last year?’



But Mark Collins, broadcast director of MediaCom TMB, refuted the

accusation.



’Everyone knows that the 1998 marketplace was false. All that’s

happening is that May has gone back to normal. Using 1998 as a base is

misleading when it was a World Cup year.’



Andrew Canter, broadcast director at Mediapolis, said: ’May is back to

the levels it should be at if you take 1998 out as an exceptional year.’



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