ITV is launching a new direct response television system, branded
Call-ITV, which will offer advertisers a centralised number and response
The scheme, which launches next month, will bring in new advertisers who
may not have used DRTV before and will also appeal to smaller, regional
The scheme is jointly funded by ITV sales houses Laser, Carlton and
TSMS, and will be led by Caroline Hunt, head of client sales for Carlton
Advertisers using the system will also be able to put the Call-ITV
number on packaging and promotion and bolt it on to existing ads made
without direct response numbers.
ITV is waiting to be allocated the final number it will use but hopes to
make the number three as prominent as possible.
A pilot scheme will run from July 7 for six months in the Grampian,
Border, and West Country TV regions. It will be able to handle 180 calls
Hunt said several advertisers are interested in the scheme but says none
had yet finalised arrangements.
Cable and Wireless Communications is working with ITV on the scheme,
which, if rolled out nationally, could be the biggest central
call-handling facility in the UK.
Hunt says because of changes in the phone system, advertisers will not
be given distinctive numbers to use in their DRTV ads.
Those that already use branded numbers, such as Guardian Direct
Insurance, with the number, 0800 28 28 20 (to sound like an owl’s call)
and Forte’s 0800 40 40 40, will be allowed to keep them.
’The Call-ITV logo and the number will appear on screen at the end of
the ad. The aim is to link the strength of ITV’s brand to
We will work with C&W to ensure that the handling service can handle the
response levels,’ said Hunt.