NEWS: Advertisers desert Channel 4 for ITV

Advertisers are being driven on to ITV because of falling audiences on Channel 4, media buyers said this week.

Advertisers are being driven on to ITV because of falling audiences on

Channel 4, media buyers said this week.

Channel 4’s decline in viewing levels over recent weeks has meant that

it is struggling to deliver the promised number of impacts to some of

its advertisers. TV buyers claimed that Channel 4 is also being forced

to turn away short-term advertising money because it cannot accommodate

the airtime.

For the week ending 17 March, Channel 4’s adult impacts were down year

on year by around 20 per cent, compared with an increase of 2 per cent

for all commercial television. ITV’s adult impacts were up 5 per cent

across the network, according to industry estimates.

One buyer confirmed that his attempts to get a campaign on air on

Channel 4 for Easter had failed because it did not have the capacity.

‘It’s struggling to deliver on the bookings it’s taken,’ he said.

Martin Bowley, the managing director of Carlton UK Sales, confirmed that

ITV had gained from Channel 4’s impact decline. ‘It’s creating a lively

late airtime market for ITV. I expect the advertisers will be asking

Channel 4 the same questions they were asking us just a year ago,’ he

said, referring to the problems over inflation on ITV last year.

Another buyer admitted that the falling impacts had sparked airtime

inflation on the channel which meant he was unlikely to meet the

discounts he had promised to his clients. ‘Those of us who hoped to use

Channel 4 to bolster our discounts against the price of all TV could be

in trouble,’ he said.

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