Media agencies hit by ISBA demand for ITV deal details

LONDON - Agencies have been inundated by advertisers demanding to know the details of their airtime deals with ITV.

ISBA, led by the director of media affairs, Bob Wootton, has urged its members to find out the terms and conditions of their deals. In particular, clients are pushing those agencies that deal their clients' TV budgets on a collective basis rather than line-by-line, to tell them exactly how much they are paying for ITV airtime and what they are getting in return.

This comes ahead of Friday's implementation of the Contract Rights Renewal procedure, which is supposed to provide advertisers with some security ahead of the Carlton and Granada merger.

Following the implementation of the CRR, advertisers can try to renegotiate their contracts with ITV, but will have the right to rollover the terms of their existing deals for the next three years. This is meant to stop a merged ITV imposing unfair terms.

Separately, agencies are concerned that they are not being given enough time to consider the full implication of the ITV merger.

They were given less than a week to comment on the draft proposals on the merger and now have a week of consultation on the prospect of further TV sales consolidation.

"The process is being pushed through at such a ridiculous pace that people aren't able to give it the attention it deserves," said Nick Theakstone, the investment director at MindShare.

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