ITV conference calls for greater unity between media industries

Senior industry figures called for greater co-operation between agencies, advertisers and broadcasters at this week's ITV Television Matters conference.

Starcom MediaVest Group's chief executive, Mark Cranmer, said "conflict" was working against the successful marketing of TV. He criticised ad agencies for "spending their time supplying films rather than ads", media agencies for "bringing confusion to the TV market

and broadcasters for being too focused on small print in contracts.

"All parties should be working together as a virtuous spinning wheel. We've all become a bit over-specialised and narrow in our responsibilities to clients,

Cranmer said.

Following Cranmer on to the stage, John O'Keeffe, the executive creative director at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, attacked the fragmentation of television as the main factor behind the lowering of creative standards. "It was fine going to four channels but going to 50 means the wheels have fallen off. Has anyone stopped to ask 'do we have to?'"

O'Keeffe blamed the proliferation of channels for a decline in standards of some TV advertising, singling out daytime TV ads such as Claims Direct as the result.

Other speakers at the event, which attracted 500 delegates, included Tim Mason, the marketing director at Tesco. He said: "TV advertising is very powerful but advertisers need to have more options. There needs to be more investment in compelling programming. If not, viewers and advertisers will dwindle."