Advertisers should lobby the Independent Television Commission to
relax some of the restrictions placed on ITV, delegates were told.
In a session on how ITV could arrest its audience decline, Bernard
Balderston, the media manager of Procter and Gamble, said: ’Advertisers
should be making a bigger effort to work with ITV towards improving the
channel’s scheduling flexibility.
’ITV is inhibited from taking a bigger share of the audience by the ITC
David Liddiment, deputy managing director of LWT, said that all the
indications were that the ITC was sympathetic about allowing ITV to
develop in the face of a multi-channel environment.
Jerry Buhlmann, the managing director of BBJ Media Services, set out
several proposals for how ITV could improve its performance, such as an
increase in successful programme launches, the moving of News at Ten and
better presentation of sport.
Bob Wootton, the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers’ director
of media services, said: ’We should let ITV be the arbiter of what
programmes it makes, but we should be putting more pressure on the
channel to increase its audience delivery.’
Marcus Plantin, director of the ITV Network Centre, outlined ITV’s
recognition of the need for a stronger marketing drive to maximise the
value of the brand.
The network came under fire for concentrating its marketing spend on its
own channel. ’Advertising on ITV to people who already watch ITV is a
lousy way of spending pounds 40 million,’ John Billett, the chief
executive of the Billett Consultancy, insisted.