Advertisers’ frustrations over rising TV prices are set to boil over
again next week, as the top spenders prepare a major offensive calling
for extra advertising minutage on terrestrial television.
Leading advertisers, including Unilever, Procter and Gamble and
SmithKline Beecham, are joining forces to lobby afresh for at least two
minutes of advertising airtime per hour on top of the seven currently
The aggressive new drive to change the current Independent Television
Commission regulations follows escalating airtime prices on terrestrial
television, which advertisers claim are being perpetuated by falling
The issue of extra minutage was raised last year when advertising cost
inflation on ITV hit record levels. Although ITV’s inflation is expected
to be more manageable this year, at around 7 per cent, advertisers’
complaints have been compounded by rising prices on Channel 4.
The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers is expected to put the
issue at the top of its agenda at its media conference next week, under
the title ‘Getting more bang for your media buck’.
John Blakemore, the head of ISBA’s Broadcast Action Group, said that the
issue had never gone away, ‘but now is a good time for us to highlight
However, agencies are already warning that in calling for the extra
minutage now, advertisers could be taking a short-term view.
Bill Barker, the broadcast director of J. Walter Thompson, said that
inflation should be alleviated through 1997. ‘Things are looking
brighter for advertisers with Channel 5 increasing the overall supply of
minutage,’ he said.