The Competition Commission is to send out a detailed survey to
advertising agencies and advertisers asking about their relationship
with Carlton, United News & Media and Granada as it reviews the merger
proposals put forward by the three companies.
The Commission will ask about TV negotiations, ad rates, and how these
will be affected. It will also ask for a perspective from companies on
how many TV companies they have advertised on during the past year and
how they decide which media to use.
The questionnaire asks whether any of the TV sales houses practise
negotiation constraints and whether these would be affected by the
It questions how the ad rates of the different TV stations compare and
to what extent they have changed during the past three years. Agencies
are then asked how they think ad rates would change should any proposed
merger go through.
The final part of the survey looks at the extent to which the three ITV
sales houses are substitutes for each other and which channels are
alternatives to ITV. It asks whether there are any examples of campaigns
where it would have been difficult for an advertiser to achieve the
coverage they needed without ITV.
In December Lord Hollick, the chairman of United News & Media, and
Michael Green, Carlton’s chairman, proposed a merger of the two
companies. At the beginning of this year Granada said it would be
interested in merging with either company.