Advertisers are being driven on to ITV because of falling audiences on
Channel 4, media buyers said this week.
Channel 4’s decline in viewing levels over recent weeks has meant that
it is struggling to deliver the promised number of impacts to some of
its advertisers. TV buyers claimed that Channel 4 is also being forced
to turn away short-term advertising money because it cannot accommodate
For the week ending 17 March, Channel 4’s adult impacts were down year
on year by around 20 per cent, compared with an increase of 2 per cent
for all commercial television. ITV’s adult impacts were up 5 per cent
across the network, according to industry estimates.
One buyer confirmed that his attempts to get a campaign on air on
Channel 4 for Easter had failed because it did not have the capacity.
‘It’s struggling to deliver on the bookings it’s taken,’ he said.
Martin Bowley, the managing director of Carlton UK Sales, confirmed that
ITV had gained from Channel 4’s impact decline. ‘It’s creating a lively
late airtime market for ITV. I expect the advertisers will be asking
Channel 4 the same questions they were asking us just a year ago,’ he
said, referring to the problems over inflation on ITV last year.
Another buyer admitted that the falling impacts had sparked airtime
inflation on the channel which meant he was unlikely to meet the
discounts he had promised to his clients. ‘Those of us who hoped to use
Channel 4 to bolster our discounts against the price of all TV could be
in trouble,’ he said.