The Independent Television Commission has given a lukewarm response
to calls for an increase in TV advertising minutage by insisting the
viewers’ interests come first.
Frank Willis, the director of advertising and sponsorship at the ITC,
insisted this week that ’the key yardstick for the ITC must remain
He added: ’It remains to be seen whether it can be successfully argued
that the interests of viewers would be better served by more advertising
on ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.’
The long-running minutage issue came to a head last week when Paul
Polman, the managing director of Procter and Gamble, told delegates at
an Incorporated Society of British Advertisers policy conference that TV
companies should support a change in the minutage rules (Campaign, 14
Polman’s position on minutage is to keep the seven minutes per hour of
advertising as the minimum daily average, but let the maximum daily
average rise to nine minutes.
The suggestion has received widespread support among advertisers, and
the ITVcompanies have also indicated they would be prepared to consider
an increase in minutage (Campaign, last week).
However, any increase would require a change in the ITC regulations.
The ITC is waiting for a formal submission from ISBA - expected within
the next month or two - before it considers the issue officially.
Willis said this week: ’The main objective for advertisers of an
increase would be to reduce or mitigate media inflation; this means such
a policy would not, if successful, be likely to produce a significant
increase in the revenue for funding programmes.’