Network and Laser fail to conclude 1997 deal

Ogilvy and Mather clients such as Ford and Guinness could be absent from a third of the ITV network this year after a breakdown in airtime trading negotiations between O&M’s media arm, the Network, and Laser Sales.

Ogilvy and Mather clients such as Ford and Guinness could be absent

from a third of the ITV network this year after a breakdown in airtime

trading negotiations between O&M’s media arm, the Network, and Laser

Sales.



Although the conclusion of 1997 airtime deals has been late for many

agencies, the Network is said to have resigned itself to not having a

deal with Laser.



Instead, the buying point is understood to have already decided to

allocate elsewhere the pounds 10-pounds 12 million it would normally

spend with Laser’s broadcasters - Granada, LWT, Yorkshire Tyne-Tees and

Border.



The Network dispute comes as Laser experiences difficulties getting a

deal with Procter and Gamble on YTT. P&G would usually spend around

pounds 8 or pounds 9 million with YTT, but the two sides are understood

to be in dispute over the issue of programme access.



Conversely, Carlton signed its deal with P&G at the end of last week,

although observers have suggested the new deal gives P&G far greater

access to peak-time programming on Carlton. P&G is also stalling on its

airtime deal with Channel 4, with nothing signed as yet.



Mick Desmond, the Laser chief executive, was unperturbed by the

disputes.



’We will pick up deals when the terms are right. There’s no panic here -

we’re pleased with what we’ve done so far.’



The TV trading year has also kicked off with more talk about trading

practices. The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers is to hold a

debate with its members and senior industry figures about the Station

Average Price trading mechanism.