Advertisers have launched another blistering attack on ITV and have
also accused the Independent Television Commission of being out of touch
with the advertising and marketing worlds.
The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers claims there is
’disarray within ITV’, caused partly by it ’having rested too long on
its past glories’ but mainly by a regulatory system in which ITV
companies bid against each other for franchises rather than unite to
The criticism emerged this week in a memorandum to the Commons select
committee on culture, submitted in confidence earlier this year. Last
month, MPs acted on all the recommendations they received and called for
a single communications regulator (Campaign, 22 May).
ISBA’s evidence will continue to be considered by the Government as it
finalises a green paper on the regulation of communications, expected
ISBA rejects the idea of curbing the growing commercialism of the BBC,
but it argues that ITV should enjoy the same freedom. It renews its call
for advertising minutage on ITV to be increased to that allowed on cable
and satellite, and complains its proposal was ’summarily and curtly
dismissed by the ITC’.
ISBA suggests that the ITC is given a ’duty of care’ to advertisers as
well as viewers.
The memo says: ’None of the commissioners has, to ISBA’s knowledge, any
significant practical experience of marketing and advertising matters,
and it is thus at the mercy of viewer and consumerist groups.’
ISBA is urging Chris Smith, the culture secretary, to correct this
imbalance by appointing at least one commissioner with commercial
consumer marketing skills.
The ITC this week rejected the criticism, saying that two of its ten
members have marketing experience - Sir Michael Checkland, the former
BBC director-general, and Maria Maloney, former marketing and business
development manager at Belfast’s Harland and Wolf shipyard.
’Commission members are appointed for their broad range of
Specialist advice on advertising and marketing comes from staff,’ an ITC