COI's Fisher lambasts ITV over 'arrogant' attitude

COI Communications has accused ITV of becoming "arrogant" and

warned it will need to become more flexible if it is to retain its slice

of the Government's ad budget.

Although COI bosses do not intend to cut the 50 per cent share of their

total adspend which goes on TV, they will "shop around" and consider

greater use of satellite, cable and digital channels. The move could

compound the growing problems facing ITV.

Carol Fisher, COI's chief executive, has told ITV chiefs they need to be

more flexible and imaginative. "What I have said to them is that they

cannot only create a relationship when they feel like it. Last year

nobody from ITV wanted to talk to clients. They were extremely arrogant

and I think they paid a price for that," she said. "ITV has to earn its

work and it needs to be a continuous relationship, not just when it is

in trouble."

Fisher said COI was neither in the business of supporting ITV or taking

money away from it to make it feel more uncomfortable.

"For some audiences, such as poor pensioners and mothers with young

children, mainstream daytime ITV is very effective," she said. "But

there is more choice available and we might well see a move away from

the media that we have traditionally used."

Fisher said that the more flexibility television companies offered, the

more likely the Government was to use them. "The key factors for us are

the best value for the taxpayer and our clients and the best reach of

the target audiences with the minimum wastage. We will definitely be

talking to everybody in TV about what represents the best value for us."

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