Office of Fair Trading to continue ITV investigation

- The Office of Fair Trading is continuing its investigations into TV airtime deals after meeting with the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising this week to thrash out the issues of TV trading.

- The Office of Fair Trading is continuing its investigations into TV airtime deals after meeting with the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising this week to thrash out the issues of TV trading.

A three-man delegation from the IPA was called upon to answer a raft of detailed media questions posed by the OFT on Monday, including questions on the way TV is traded, the station average price mechanism and the share of broadcast deals pursued by the ITV sales houses.

The meeting followed two previous letters sent by the OFT to the IPA asking for information on the operation of the TV advertising airtime market (Campaign 20 March, 27 March).

The enquiries were initially sparked by ITV's attempts last autumn to secure deals with advertisers based on the share of broadcast they were prepared to commit to the ITV sales houses. Advertisers and agencies complained, insisting that share of broadcast deals must be struck on the basis of commitments to an individual ITV sales house, not to the ITV network as a whole.

However, the OFT's enquiries have also included issues such as the TV trading mechanism and touched upon agency share deals -- the way agencies secure volume discounts on behalf of their entire client portfolio

Ray Kelly, the IPA's media policy group chairman, said that the meeting had been designed to clarify a number of points raised by the IPA's response to the OFT's investigation, but refused to go into any detail on the nature of the discussions.





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