ITV is fuming after a letter mass-mailed by a media auditor advised
its clients to boycott the channel over the network’s inflated
John Billett, head of the Billett Consultancy, sent the letter to
clients - which include companies like Homebase - that spend a
substantial amount of their advertising budget on TV.
Billett’s letter stated: ’An opportunity exists to move significant
volumes of cash out of ITV and into other commercial channels; national
money to Channel 4, but especially into Channel 5 and to Sky; regional
money out of London into cheaper regions - and to significantly reduce
the cost you pay for airtime.’
This is justified by Billett on the basis that Channel 5’s adult rating
is now more than 40 per cent cheaper than ITV’s. Billett also
highlighted that although ITV adult prices are up 16 per cent year on
year, prices are 21 per cent higher in the London area.
Steve Platt, managing director at Carlton Media Sales, was outraged at
the letter. He said: ’This is ridiculous. Why not spend all the money on
Scottish TV? Clients want to be in London so of course there’s going to
be higher demand and higher prices in that area. That’s where people
want to grow their businesses.’
Platt argued that Billett has overlooked the fact that clients pay a
premium for ITV because of the quality of its programming. He also
highlighted the large audience the channel delivers.
’It’s crazy to suggest a rating on some ITV sports coverage is the same
as Channel 5’s porn movies,’ he said.
Platt also accused Billett of attempting to generate business for his
own company at the expense of ITV.
Platt continued: ’Rather than pointing to the achievements of commercial
television, Billett is the first to use our three-month data as evidence
’We all know that the first quarter has not been fantastic, but that was
expected with the removal of the News at Ten for the same period last
year. The summer and autumn line-up looks far more promising as we are
introducing new dramas to the network.’
Billett said his campaign was also directed at buyers who put together