NEWS: IRS to launch London operation offering packaged station sales,

Independent Radio Sales, the radio sales house, is launching a London only sales operation from next February, creating a package that represents a combined 27 million listening hours.

Independent Radio Sales, the radio sales house, is launching a London

only sales operation from next February, creating a package that

represents a combined 27 million listening hours.



IRS will sell its four London stations - Heart, Kiss FM, Sunrise and

London News Radio - as one package from early 1996. Optimedia, the

media specialist, has already bought the package for an unnamed national

client.



The decision to launch a dedicated London sell was taken earlier this

year but was given added impetus by the launch of a comprehensive IRS

booklet, A Planner’s Guide to Commercial Radio in London, a month ago,

which was well received by the industry. IRS will continue to sell its

London stations separately where required.



Julia Calo, sales director at IRS, said: ‘We’d got to the stage where

there were so many stations in the London market that there was an

opportunity to make life much easier for agencies and advertisers if we

offered them the option of a single sell.’



Calo accepted that the four London stations had very distinct target

audiences but said: ‘There will be cases where it is appropriate to sell

the stations together.’ IRS has presented the concept to several

stations and says the response has been good. ‘We knew there was only so

much we could do before Heart went on air and had an official Rajar. But

we consulted agencies and they thought it was a good idea,’ Calo said.



Clive Howse, associate director at the Media Business Group, said: ‘I

think the IRS London sell has a role. It’s the right idea but in terms

of sales strategy it’s possibly an over-simplification.’