NEWS: ITV sales unveils car ad offensive

The ITV sales houses have upped the ante in their bid to persuade advertisers to use ITV as a network by targeting the pounds 500 million car sector.

The ITV sales houses have upped the ante in their bid to persuade

advertisers to use ITV as a network by targeting the pounds 500 million

car sector.



The sales houses are individually planning to talk to car manufacturers

and their agencies about using ITV, comparing the cost of advertising on

the ITV network with that of other channels such as Channel 4.



The initiative builds on ITV’s recent approaches to toy retailers and

manufacturers, which involved the sales houses each selling the benefits

of ITV and quoting a typical network price. The progression from the

relatively low-spending, daytime advertising of toy manufacturers to the

car sector signals the arrival of the network strategy as a central

pillar of ITV’s sales approach.



The network is now said to be looking at a similar move with regard to

selling dayparts such as coffee time or late night.



The strategy is the closest the ITV sales companies can come to selling

ITV as a network to advertisers. Independent Television Commission rules

do not allow ITV to sell spots on a one-stop-shop network basis.



But the sales houses can talk to advertisers about the likely cost of

using the network rather than just their own stations as long as all

deals are conducted individually with each sales operation.



The decision to expand beyond the toy market has been taken following

the ITC’s clearance of the toy initiative, which had sparked complaints

from GMTV.



The toy initiative, designed to capitalise on ITV’s children’s

programming, has generally been seen as a success, with several toy

manufacturers planning to increase their spend on the channel partly as

a result of the drive.



ITV now hopes it can replicate this success with car manufacturers.

Martin Bowley, managing director of Carlton UK Sales, said that

programmes such as Formula One and the Champions League ‘make ITV very

price competitive and we need to point that out on a network basis’.



One insider said that ITV was hoping to snatch up to 25 per cent of

Channel 4’s car revenue by implementing the strategy.



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