ITV has responded defiantly to the banning of its on-air promotions
for its new digital services.
The films were pulled off air by the Independent Television Commission
last Friday, after it ruled the promotions were ’denigratory to the
satellite TV platform’. They showed a satellite with a red cross over it
and carried the strapline, ’Dish-free digital. The simplest way to get
digital is through your aerial.’
The ITC acted after receiving complaints about accuracy and denigration
from ITV’s rivals, BSkyB, the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and
Peter Rogers, the chief executive of the ITC, said he was disappointed
by the on-air promotions. ’We expect all those involved in the provision
of digital TV services to adopt a calm, orderly and informative approach
to the development of this new market,’ he said.
However, ITV hit out at its rivals’ advertising, claiming satellite and
cable channels were failing to inform consumers that digital TV is
available free-to-air as well as on subscription. In a statement, it
said: ’While complying with today’s ruling, ITV will continue to find
ways of communicating the availability of free digital terrestrial
services to its viewers.
This fact is not made clear by any of the digital promotions from Sky,
the BBC or Channel 4.’
Steve Allen, the creative director of ITV’s Network Promotions Unit,
which made the promos, added: ’Everyone makes digital look fantastic but
nothing describes how easy it is to get it via your aerial.’ He said a
second phase of the campaign was likely soon.
The ITC also decreed that ITV’s future promotions for digital
terrestrial TV should be submitted to the Broadcast Advertising
Clearance Centre before transmission.