OFT gives TV sales system all clear

The Office of Fair Trading has cleared the advertising industry of TV trading malpractice after failing to find any conclusive evidence of anti-competitive activity.

The Office of Fair Trading has cleared the advertising industry of

TV trading malpractice after failing to find any conclusive evidence of

anti-competitive activity.



An official OFT statement issued on Wednesday said the office had

’decided against a formal competition enquiry into ITV sales houses’

airtime sales practices’.



The OFT had been concerned that ITV sales houses were pursuing a sales

policy designed to use the combined, monopolistic power of the ITV

network to disadvantage other broadcast competitors (Campaign 20 March).

But according to the OFT, ’no conclusive evidence of this has been

found’.



It emerged this week that the OFT’s interest had been sparked by the

receipt of a formal complaint about the ’share of broadcast’ sales

policy, which had agencies up in arms when it was first mooted during

the 1998 trading season last autumn. Some agencies felt that ITV sales

houses might be colluding to take advantage of their combined majority

share of the airtime market.



The OFT consulted with a number of ad industry representatives, most

notably the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, and took their

views into account when formulating its decision.



The IPA had made clear its position on the issue, saying that agencies

had no problem with an individual sales house asking advertisers to give

them a guaranteed share of their total TV spend and saw no evidence of

an ITV-wide push for such deals.



Ray Kelly, the IPA Media Policy Group chairman, commented: ’It’s

absolutely right that the OFT should reach this conclusion. The issue

they were looking into had already been sorted out last autumn.’



However, the OFT has said it will continue to monitor the situation and

’may reconsider the position if evidence of any adverse effects on

competition comes to light’.



Become a member of Campaign from just £45 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).