A rallying call went out to Britain’s advertisers this week to
stand together in the face of runaway media inflation and the growing
threat to advertising freedoms.
The appeal, from Ian Ramsay, the president of the Incorporated Society
of British Advertisers, came amid fears of what he claimed might be a
Labour government less sympathetic to the industry than the present one,
as well as a more vocal consumer lobby.
Speaking at the ISBA policy conference in London, Ramsay, the chairman
and managing director of the food manufacturer, CPC, urged advertisers
to use their muscle to ensure that the importance of marketing
communications to the economy and the key role of advertisers in funding
the media was properly recognised.
His call coincided with the announcement of a new ISBA initiative to put
the case for advertisers to administrators, opinion formers and
politicians. ’We do not underestimate the task ahead,’ Ramsay said.
Ramsay warned against what he called the possible ’nannying’ of UK
consumers with ’over-protective and patronising’ legislation.
He also urged advertisers to keep a close watch on the ’ever-changing,
increasingly blurred’ area of media ownership, where the big were
growing bigger still.
At the same time, he called on ISBA members to stand firm against
unwarranted media cost inflation by lobbying for a progressive increase
in advertising minutage on terrestrial TV and to strive for a more
competitive TV airtime marketplace.
TV cost inflation was currently running in double digits against RPI at
about 3 per cent, Ramsay pointed out. For certain target markets, such
as 16- to 24-year-olds, inflation jumped to 20 per cent.
’We must continue to act on a broad front to moderate airtime
inflation,’ Ramsay said. ’Media is like any other business, a matter of
supply and demand, and if demand is outstripping supply we need more
time freed up.’
John Hooper, ISBA’s director general, appealed to members to ’unleash
the latent power of advertisers’.