Media: Double Standards - 'Enhancing my privates on the net of an evening'

Online sales supremos discuss multi-platform selling, Liberian diamond mines and why the internet will not kill TV.

SCOTT DEUTRON - head of online and commercial partnerships, Sky Media

- Who are your biggest advertisers?

We're now attracting a pretty broad base of high-value customers. Ford, Nike, Reebok, Gillette and More Th>n have been some of our most long-standing supporters.

- Why are online properties becoming increasingly important to television broadcasters?

Online provides another way for audiences to enjoy Sky content and for Sky to engage with its customers. As you'd expect, our online presence reflects our strengths in key genres such as sport and news, but you'll also see us move into new genres that aren't directly linked to our TV channel brands.

- Which parts of your company's portfolio of websites are advertisers most interested in?

Most of our 14.8 million monthly users are attracted to sport, news and showbiz, which is reflected in our revenues. However, we're seeing significant levels of interest from both advertisers and their agencies in our on-demand movies and sports services, together with our new mobile application.

- How do you promote your online and mobile brands to advertisers?

We're quite fortunate in so much that quite a few of our clients are users of the sites and direct-to-home customers. We've also got a sizeable online sales team serving the digital community, which is doubling in size after the Aura acquisition.

- Does online need a common currency?

About 12 months ago, I probably would have said yes, but the debate is becoming increasingly irrelevant. I think that the continuing maturity of the medium has presented advertisers with a wide variety of credible trading options.

- What skills do you need to sell online advertising?

Broad-minded, thick-skinned, innovative, not cynical, decent expenses, thick-skinned with thick skin.

- Is online advertising a threat to television?

Yes and no. The box in the corner of the lounge isn't going to disappear any time soon, but there are plenty of other ways to watch as well. Online and mobile are opportunities for TV brands with great content. I think print has got some issues, though.

- How closely do you work with the TV sales team?

The current environment of convergence, digital trading directors and the impending TV trading season means far too much for the good of my health, at the moment.

- Do you cross-sell across your TV properties and online brands and what are the benefits of these deals?

We've been multi-platform selling with our broadcast sponsorship department for five years. Evidence shows that the effects on brand awareness and propensity to purchase are higher than single-platform endorsements.

- What's the best online campaign you've booked and why?

We've done some really nice work on Nike, Peperami, More Th>n and Powerade, while Tourism Ireland's Ryder Cup sponsorship is working really well.

- How do you spend your time online?

I really enjoy refinancing my loans, enhancing my privates and investing in Liberian diamond mines of an evening. VANESSA KENT - controller of online sales, ITV

- Who are your biggest advertisers?

We have a strong portfolio of advertisers across ITV and Friends Reunited, such as Ask.co.uk, VW, British Airways, Douwe Egberts, Paddy Power, MSN, BT, AOL and UIP, to name a few over this year.

- Why are online properties becoming increasingly important to television broadcasters?

Content is the key. Broadcasters are looking at new ways to connect viewers with their content across a variety of platforms. ITV is the largest commercial broadcaster of programmes in the UK and is developing new ways to deliver our content to viewers and users.

- Which parts of your company's portfolio of websites are advertisers most interested in?

All of it! We are in the fortunate position that our portfolio meets our advertisers' differing objectives. For example, Friends Reunited provides advertisers with a strong reach vehicle and targeting options, such as location, age, gender, marital status, university degree etc, while something like our Formula One site provides a different, much more niche audience.

- How do you promote your online and mobile brands to advertisers?

We have great coverage in the UK across media agencies and advertisers and talk to them regularly. We also do a lot of cross-promotion between the ITV properties - broadcast, online, Friends Reunited, mobile and interactive. And through our marketing campaigns, which run across all mediums and search marketing.

- Does online need a common currency?

Yes! We need a common language to make it easier for those advertisers not already online to understand the value and where it fits into their overall media strategy.

- What skills do you need to sell online advertising?

An understanding of media! As well as creative and lateral thinking and an aptitude for technology.

- Is online advertising a threat to television?

No. The landscape is evolving in how people consume their media and how advertisers reach their audiences. The traditional broadcasters are competing for a share of people's time, but are well placed, given their strength of content and an understanding of this evolution.

- How closely do you work with the TV sales team?

We work closely with our TV sales team, addressing advertisers' objectives and presenting a complete solution across broadcast (ITV 1), interactive, mobile and online. Carat has just reorganised its media teams and ITV is in a great position to service this structure.

- Do you cross-sell across your TV properties and online brands and what are the benefits of these deals?

Yes. We like to work with advertisers across all of our platforms, such as Littlewoods' sponsorship of Trinny and Susannah across multiple ITV platforms such as broadcast, online, interactive and mobile.

- What's the best online campaign you've booked and why?

ITV worked with Goodfellas on a really integrated campaign, which involved sponsorship of Soapstar Superstar and ITV soaps.

- How do you spend your time online?

Doing everything - banking, e-mail, buying groceries, reading news, following my favourite sporting teams, TV shows, researching and booking all my travel. And I have to admit I was addicted to Love Island, especially the video clips and latest gossip news.

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).