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.