Sky axes red button ads after nine years

LONDON - BSkyB is scrapping red-button advertising on all Sky channels at the end of June, nine years after it was launched.

Sky is scrapping red-button ads
Sky is scrapping red-button ads

Campaigns from current advertisers including Toyota, Ford, Sandals and Paramount will cease to run Sky channels and third parties, including MTV and Nickelodeon, from June. However, the service will continue on ITV, UKTV and Virgin Media, as their slots are sold independently of Sky Media.

At its peak in 2006, 160 campaigns were running on the red-button service but by 2009 this had fallen to just 60.

‘Sky doesn't pursue things that there is no demand for,' said Sky Media communications director Jeremy Tester. ‘The green button has a lot to do with it, but as one door closes, another one opens.'

The broadcaster now plans to concentrate on selling ads for its green-button service, which is less clunky and more cost-effective. Sky's Ad Smart service, which launches next year with targeted ads based on user preferences will also be a focus.

Sky will continue to offer red-button interactivity where users can get more information on news, weather and programmes but will stop red-button advertising.

The interactive ads launched in 2001 with Chicken Tonight as the first advertiser.

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