ITV is to launch an official ‘listening post’ to allow advertisers and
agencies to air their views and make suggestions about the ITV Network
and its programme schedules.
Steve Morrison, the head of ITV’s marketing group and chief executive
officer of Granada Media Group, pledged last week to create the
listening post as a forum to create better dialogue with its customers.
The initiative aims to provide a platform for advertisers and agencies
to discuss how the network can best serve their requirements. The talks
will take place outside the sales channels through which agencies
usually meet with ITV.
Speaking at last week’s Incorporated Society of British Advertisers’
conference, Morrison said that the idea originally came from a
conversation he had with Derek Morris, the joint media director of BMP
According to Morris, it is difficult to share ideas about new and
creative ways of using ITV because expressing an interest in a certain
demographic or programme strand is guaranteed to push up the airtime
‘We need to have a way of talking to ITV outside of the sales arena,’
Morris said. ‘We want to talk about the use of TV, to generate ideas
together and create a new spin for our TV advertising. At the moment,
there’s no-one for me to have that conversation with.’
Advertisers’ other grievance - the need for more commercial minutage on
TV - also featured prominently at the conference.
John Blakemore, the UK ad director for SmithKline Beecham and ISBA’s
spokesman on broadcasting issues, said that most ITV regions were
already broadcasting much more than the statutory seven minutes of
advertising per hour in peak-time.
ISBA is calling for an increase in minutage to nine minutes per hour
(Campaign, 21 June). It has conducted research to prove this figure is
already being achieved in some ITV regions, on certain days, without
eliciting any complaints.
According to ISBA’s research, in one week, 31 per cent of the hours
broadcast on Central and Meridian TV carried nine minutes or more of
advertising. ‘The existing facts are in our favour,’ Blakemore said.