ITV has mounted a defence of the existing restrictions on
advertising minutage in the face of advertisers’ long-awaited paper
calling for more commercial airtime on terrestrial television.
While ITV has set up a working party to examine the Incorporated Society
of British Advertisers’ drive for an increase in commercial minutage,
the ITV companies’ reaction to ISBA’s submission on the matter to the
Independent Television Commission this week indicated a deep-seated
resistance to the proposals.
Clive Jones, the managing director of Carlton Television and head of
ITV’s marketing committee, said: ’It’s ironic given that ISBA supported
the increase in commercial TV channels. There’s been no increase in
total impacts, they’re just scattered over more channels. There’s an
inevitable economic reality here.’
Jones added that more minutage would add to screen clutter and
’I can’t see how it would benefit the viewer or the advertiser.’
Ray Kelly, the chairman of the Institute of Practitioners in
Advertising’s Media Policy Group, said agencies were sympathetic to
advertisers’ calls for a quick fix to rampant inflation. But he
added:’We must ensure there is not a detrimental impact on advertising
Bob Wootton, the director of media services at ISBA, said the first
imperative was to change the minutage regulations. ISBA is proposing a
new ceiling of nine minutes per hour of commercial airtime. How much of
their inventory broadcasters must then sell - above a seven minutes per
hour minimum - would be a trading matter.
However, Wootton said extra minutage was a short-term solution. ’The big
solution is restoring decent audiences to commercial television.’
The ISBA paper - which compares the rising price of TV airtime with
other advertiser costs such as packaging and distribution - also claims
international advertisers could move money out of the UK and into other
European markets if inflation here is not brought under control.