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
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
’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.’