ITV angers rivals with independent marketing initiative

ITV has angered other major broadcasters by going it alone after

taking part in joint talks over marketing TV as an advertising

medium.



ITV participated in informal talks with BSkyB, Channel 4 and Channel 5

about setting up a TV version of the Radio Advertising Bureau to try to

rebuild its falling share of ad revenue.



The joint marketing drive would be open to all commercial TV companies

and talks included a TV conference to be held before May 2002.



But ITV announced its own initiative at its annual schedule presentation

to advertisers and agencies this week. It intends to set up a client

services team and hold its own TV conference in May 2002.



Nick Milligan, the deputy chief executive of Channel 5, has been

involved in the joint marketing talks. He said: "It is common sense that

TV should market the strength of the medium and we are extremely

disappointed that ITV wants to go off and do its own thing. This will

not deter everyone else outside ITV from having a joint initiative for

TV."



ITV's chief executive, Stuart Prebble, its director of programmes, David

Liddiment, and Jim Hytner, the marketing and commercial director,

referred to the need to address ITV's arrogant reputation at the

presentation. Hytner introduced the idea of a client services team and

confirmed plans to rebrand ITV1.



Jerry Hill, the chief executive of Initiative and the former chief

executive of the ITV sales house TSMS, said: "The timing may be long

overdue for ITV to single-mindedly focus on demonstrating the benefits

of advertising on TV in general."