NEWS: ITV unveils a strategy for Grand Prix breaks

ITV will interrupt its coverage of Formula One racing with a series of five two-minute ad breaks designed to maximise the appeal of the programmes to advertisers.

ITV will interrupt its coverage of Formula One racing with a series of

five two-minute ad breaks designed to maximise the appeal of the

programmes to advertisers.



After carrying out extensive research, ITV believes that the chosen

formula is the best solution for both the viewer and the advertiser.



Mick Desmond, the chief executive of Laser Sales and a member of the ITV

Marketing Group, said that the aim was to balance the needs of the

viewer with the expectations of the advertiser.



He said that viewers had expressed preference for breaks which were not

too frequent. ‘With this in mind, our current thinking is to have five

commercial breaks of two minutes - although we intend to remain flexible

about this,’ he explained.



There will be a race director who will have control over when to cut to

a commercial break (Campaign, last week) and any key action that is

missed because of the ads will be replayed after the break.



TV buyers welcomed ITV’s approach to break scheduling, although Russell

Boyman, the head of broadcast at Mediastar, said that he would have

preferred ten one-minute ad breaks. ‘This would have given the sponsors

more exposure, would enable more cars to get into the breaks and I don’t

think it would have been intrusive for the viewer, ’ he said.



ITV is also hoping to generate significant sponsorship revenues from the

deal. Sponsors will be offered short break bumpers as well as longer

accreditations in those breaks which fall outside the race itself.



Spotlight, p20



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