NEWS: ISBA to lobby ITC for more ITV airtime

The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers is preparing to lobby for an extra two minutes an hour of advertising on ITV.

The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers is preparing to lobby

for an extra two minutes an hour of advertising on ITV.



Leading members of ISBA, which include some of the UK’s top advertisers,

are putting together a fresh case for more TV airtime to be made

available to UK advertisers.



ISBA is set to lobby the Independent Television Commission for an

average of nine minutes of advertising airtime per hour in a bid to keep

ad costs down.



Its demands will be based on the results of an extensive new study,

which it has commissioned into the possible impact of increasing

advertising minutage. The aim of the research will be to show that

additional minutes of advertising can be added on ITV without any

detrimental effect.



However, ITV sales chiefs have always argued that extra minutage could

damage the channel’s audiences. There is a widespread belief that

audiences will suffer because the additional airtime will have to come

from programme promotions or the programmes themselves, and that longer

ad breaks could encourage viewers to switch between channels during the

commercial break.



The debate over extra minutage raged earlier this year as ITV’s airtime

inflation reached record levels. However, with inflation easing this

autumn, calls for more advertising airtime have receded (Campaign, 21

July).



John Blakemore, head of ISBA’s Broadcast Action Group, said that the

issue has never gone away. ‘Extra minutage has always been top of our

agenda and it’s still a hot issue for us,’ he claimed.



Blakemore denied any immediate action, but aggressive attempts to force

the ITC’s hand are expected early in the new year.