I’m only a punter, but I’m getting heartily sick of constant
whining from committees of advertisers and transparently self-interested
media buyers about advertising minutage on ITV and about how unfair it
is that people prefer the BBC.
Do they seriously believe that the effectiveness of ads will not be
compromised when viewers sit through thirty of them an hour? Or that by
putting the odd COI ad for the Green Cross Code on the BBC suddenly
frees up ITV airtime for more important commercials for washing powder
and spot cream?
Precious arguments about ’level playing fields’ and ’advertising by the
back door’ are tirelessly reiterated. Pools companies complain about
Camelot’s free television exposure on the BBC, conveniently forgetting
the years of free advertising they’ve had on Grandstand.
Other advertisers argue that viewers wouldn’t mind ads on the Beeb
because they hate paying the licence fee. They then insist that the BBC
should not behave like a commercial organisation in order to give the
licence payer value for money. The cost of advertising airtime is
spiralling, so we are told. Unlucky. So is petrol.
Advertisers should do what motorists will have to do and use less. Or,
and here’s a completely mad idea - make better ads. They’ll find people
remember them much more quickly, so they don’t have to present them with
it 20 times a day for six months to get a response. Then perhaps - just
perhaps - many of us will find watching ITV a less objection-able