OFT enquiries into TV trading to continue after meeting with IPA

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

The Office of Fair Trading is to continue its investigations into

TV airtime deals after meeting with the Institute of Practitioners in

Advertising this week to thrash out the issues of TV sales policies.



A three-man delegation from the IPA was called in on Monday to answer

detailed questions from the OFT 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 television advertising

airtime market (Campaign, 20 March and 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 touched on issues such as the TV

trading mechanism and 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 the meeting had

been called to clarify a number of points raised by the IPA’s response

to the OFT investigation. But he refused to go into the details of what

was discussed



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