ITV stays on right side of CRR adjudicator

LONDON - ITV has only broken the rules imposed by Contract Rights Renewal once in the past 12 months, according to the CRR adjudicator's record on formal disputes, published today.

There were a total of three cases in which the adjudicator's office was formally asked to resolve a dispute against ITV, with the adjudicator ruling against ITV in only one of them.

The office's annual report observed that generally ITV has continued to cooperate within the rules of CRR.

As the identity of the complainants are confidential, it is only known that two disputes were raised by media agencies.

One was about the terms offered by ITV on a line-by-line deal for an advertiser previously within an agency deal, and the other was about the terms the broadcaster offered when the media agency proposed to amend some of the parameters of its core agency deal.

The adjudicator said that only the third dispute related to contract enforcement and interpretation.

The total of formal adjudications is the same number as the preceding twelve month period to April 2006.

There were also 37 enquiries on guidance this period, compared with 40 in the previous period.

The report also contained the views of ISBA and the IPA, on CRR.

ISBA said the scheme is working well and advertisers were pleased to note "some pockets of ITV audience resurgence in autumn 2006 and early 2007, suggesting that the positive force of CRR is now making itself felt".

The IPA said the mechanism has worked smoothly since November, but aired concerns from some members that ITV was "on its best behaviour for a purpose", allowing its senior management to argue that CRR was unnecessary.

It added that some agencies have reported that ITV Sales is increasingly linking negotiations on ITV digital channels with its targets for ITV1 -- significantly raising prices on the digital channels if they feel that negotiations on ITV1 are not going well.

It is the first annual report from the Office of the CRR Adjudicator since Robert Ditcham, the former Initiative commercial director, took over the position from David Connolly in May last year.