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
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
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
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.