ITV set to bolster direct response

ITV is launching a new offensive to increase its revenue from direct response advertisers by creating a new call-handling system designed to encourage more people to respond to telephone numbers on commercials.

ITV is launching a new offensive to increase its revenue from

direct response advertisers by creating a new call-handling system

designed to encourage more people to respond to telephone numbers on

commercials.



Call ITV, a joint venture with the cable giant, Cable & Wireless

Communications, will use a single generic telephone number for all

direct response ads, making it simpler for viewers to request further

information, broch-ures and samples.



The number, 0870-3333 333, is designed to be memorable and portable -

advertisers can use the number and Call ITV logo on their packaging and

on non-competing media.



The initiative is being unveiled by ITV’s new marketing director, John

Hardie, and ITV claims that by associating their brands more closely

with ITV through use of the Call ITV logo and number, advertisers can

tap into the credibility and stature of the ITV brand.



According to Caroline Hunt, the head of client services at Carlton UK

Sales and a driving force behind the Call ITV initiative, direct

response commercials account for around 25 per cent of all ITV’s ads.

’There’s real potential for this to grow; there’s just this perception

that ITV couldn’t handle all the calls because of its size.’



Call ITV will be backed by what is claimed to be the UK’s biggest

call-handling system using CWC’s unique voice-print technology.



The voice-print system can be programmed to recognise key words and

phrases describing the ad, so if viewers don’t remember the brand name,

they can still access information. The technology is undergoing tests

and will be rolled out nationally through the course of 1998.



The technology will also be able to provide spot-by-spot breakdowns of

responses so advertisers can analyse which ads have performed most

effectively.



Eventually the system will provide information on which postcode area

respondents are calling from.



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