- ITV has taken a step closer towards offering a centralised sponsorship sell, pledging to strengthen the links between the three ITV sponsorship sales operations and the Network Centre.
ITV's marketing director, John Hardie, will now work closely with the ITV sponsorship committee to develop a strong dialogue between the ITV Network Centre's commissioning and scheduling systems and the commercial sponsorship arena.
All negotiation of sponsorship credits and the management of individual deals will continue to be handled by the individual sales houses on behalf of the network, but Hardie will ensure that ITV is sensitive to programme sponsorship when scheduling sponsored shows and the sponsored trailers promoting the shows.
Maximising audiences will, however, remain a scheduling priority.
At the moment, programme trailers are made by the individual ITV stations and vary in their look and scheduling. Hardie has now undertaken to offer sponsors a more consistent approach to branded on-air promotions.
Hardie said: "ITV believes the current system works well, but that it can do a better job of meeting customer needs by stronger liaison and a greater flow of information."
The ITV concessions follow calls from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising for a single sales operation selling sponsorship on behalf of the entire network (Campaign 23 January).
Derek Morris, a director of Unity and the IPA spokesman on broadcast sponsorship, said: "This is a move in the right direction. Getting the Network Centre involved means there will now be shorter lines of communication between the sponsorship of programmes and scheduling and the approach to sponsored trailers will be more harmonious."