EDINBURGH TELEVISION FESTIVAL: Advertisers let down by festival's effort to tackle their worries

Audiences were left feeling underwhelmed by the attempts of the TV Festival to address advertisers' concerns.

In a debate entitled "Are advertisers turning off TV? there were complaints that the panellists had failed to address the issue in any depth.

In his speech, John Billett, the chairman of Billetts, reiterated the argument that no new categories have come into the TV market and that the existing advertisers are moving to other media. He said this would make it hard for TV, and ITV in particular, to make a recovery because of the smaller budgets they would have for programming.

ITV's joint managing director, Mick Desmond, said there had been problems but repeated his commitment to focusing on the core channel and stated his desire for ITV to be owned by one company.

IDS's managing director, Mark Howe, accused some agencies of "arrogance and bigotry in failing to see the opportunities of multichannel TV. But Jim Marshall, the chief executive of MediaVest and the chairman of the IPA Media Policy Group, simply agreed that agencies could be cautious.

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