NEWS: ITV plans network client sales unit

ITV is considering the creation of a single network client sales force, selling the benefits to advertisers of using the ITV network in a move to counter competition from other channels.

ITV is considering the creation of a single network client sales force,

selling the benefits to advertisers of using the ITV network in a move

to counter competition from other channels.



The news comes as the ITV companies are joining forces for the first

time to approach advertisers and agencies.



The initiative will see the sales directors and managing directors of

the ITV companies visiting agencies together in the run up to the 1997

airtime negotiations.



At the same time, the client sales operations of the three ITV sales

houses are being pooled for a six-week period to promote the benefits of

ITV as a national advertising vehicle.



This client sales collaboration could be the first step towards a single

ITV client sales division. The companies are thought to be looking at

ways of combining resources to offer clients the opportunity to

supplement on-screen ads through off-screen tie-ups and promotions.



The creation of an ITV united front illustrates the ITV companies’

recognition of the need to work together. Some media buyers are warning

that deals for next year could be struck with the national channels -

Channel 4 and Channel 5 - first, with regional ITV stations being sorted

out after.



The united push has been timed to coincide with the launch of a new

pounds 5 million national ad campaign, created by M&C Saatchi. Media is

being bought by the Network and Concord.



ITV has drafted in its biggest personalities, including the Gladiators,

Wolf and Hunter, and the stars of Coronation Street for the campaign,

aimed at ensuring its viewers stay faithful, under the theme:

‘Britain’s most popular button.’



Its aim is not only to lock viewers into the network but to convince

advertisers, agencies and media buyers that ITV cannot only deliver huge

audiences, but those of the right quality.



The commercials were written by Tim Harris, art directed by Alex Oei and

directed by Mandie Fletcher through Fletcher Sanderson.



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