Carlton Active axed as ITV launches new interactive division

Carlton is to axe its interactive division, Carlton Active, as part of an ITV move to launch a new interactive department at the Network Centre.

Key posts at Carlton Active will be axed, including that of the chief executive, Jane Marshall. All of its 26 employees will be invited to apply for jobs in the new interactive department at ITV. Plans are being prepared ahead of the proposed merger of Carlton and Granada.

Sales of interactive advertising for TV and the internet will pass to Carlton and Granada's sales houses. Carlton Active's sales director, Peter Birch, and his four-strong sales team will be absorbed into Carlton Media Sales, where they will continue to handle the sale of interactive advertising.

Marketing and management of content will pass to the network's interactive division.

The decision to wind up Carlton's interactive division comes as ITV prepares to increase its interactive advertising activity after signing a deal with Sky Digital. ITV has yet to announce its first interactive advertiser on the digital satellite platform.

Key projects developed by Carlton Active included the original interactive version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, which ran on the ITV Digital platform. Such projects will now be handled by the new ITV interactive division, said to be called ITV Now. It is already developing content for services linked to programmes such as Coronation Street and Who Wants to be a Millionaire?.

Justin Judd, the controller of Granada's interactive division, which was scaled back late last year, is co-ordinating its new interactive services.

However, Marshall is also in contention for the job of running the new operation.