Media: Things we like

ITV's investment in talent

We were pleased to see that ITV has signed the presenter Christine Bleakley from the BBC. It remains to be seen if Bleakley, alongside former colleague Adrian Chiles, can improve the fortunes of GMTV, but at least advertisers, rather than the taxpayer, will be paying her generous wages in the future. With ITV also reported to be in as yet unconfirmed talks with Jonathan Ross about a new chatshow, we could be set for a more balanced TV economy where ITV provides strong light entertainment and the BBC sticks to its remit.

Ofcom's product placement timetable

While we've known for a while now that product placement is coming to UK commercial TV, it was good to see Ofcom outline this week a formal timetable for the introduction. Product placement on TV now looks likely to be a reality by the end of 2010. The only issues still to be cleared up involve whether product placement should be allowed in factual programming, but the news should be a welcome boost to both advertisers and media owners.

Greenlight for Canvas

More regulatory good news for advertisers came in the shape of the BBC Trust's decision to approve the launch of the video-on-demand service Project Canvas. The new service, likely to be called YouView, is set to launch next year, and is set to provide advertisers with new ways of interacting with TV content. BBC rivals such as Sky and Virgin Media might not be happy, but we think the service is good for the TV market.

Sky's latest deal for subscribers

Sky has reacted to greater competition in the televison market by offering free subscription to its Sky Mobile TV and Sky Player services to all of its Sky Sports subscribers. Subscribers will receive six months free access via their iPhones, PCs or Macs, as Sky looks to build its presence across platforms. The offer comes at a great time for those looking to keep up with the Test Match action on their holidays and seems calculated by Sky to beat competition from the likes of BT Vision, which is about to offer Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 on its platform.


Hyundai's idents on ITV's World Cup coverage

We thought those Hyundai sponsorship credits had hit a low when one interrupted the England goal against the USA on ITV HD but the spots, featuring cars playing football, are becoming increasingly grating with their built-in national stereotypes that seem to hark back to the 70s rather than anything recent on a football pitch. Even worse, following England's shameful defeat to Germany on Sunday, was the one showing on ITV on Monday night, which featured the England team of cars beating Germany. Ironic in all the wrong ways.