ITV increases length of sponsorship credits

ITV has taken advantage of Ofcom's new broadcasting code by increasing the length of its sponsorship idents.

From January next year, brands sponsoring 30-minute shows on any ITV channel will be allocated 40 seconds-worth of credits.

While the length of the opening and end-breaks will remain at 15 and five seconds respectively, the length of centre-breaks will be doubled to ten seconds.

Credits that have been produced to the current lengths will be allowed to run in parallel until 31 March next year.

Gary Knight, the head of sponsorship and branded content at ITV Sales, told Campaign he had no plans to increase the price of sponsorship credits purely on the basis of length. However, he added: "This move is designed to open the creative door for idents, and because of that I would expect more people to use sponsorship. One would, therefore, expect the value of idents to rise."

ITV's move, which will have an impact on major sponsorships around programming such as Coronation Street and I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!, is in response to Ofcom's new broadcasting code, which came into effect on 25 July this year. The code removed many restrictions governing TV sponsorship, transferring the responsibility for ident lengths to broadcasters and media agencies.

The code also allows idents to expound product benefits and enable them, for the first time, to contain footage from existing ad campaigns.

Idents are expected to become more valuable in the long term as advertisers look to get around the impact of personal video recorders.