Times joins with Endemol for live ads

The Times is working on a series of live TV commercials to be created by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R in conjunction with Initial, the entertainment arm of the TV producer Endemol, and Live Advertising Ltd.

Ideas for the commercials include "live" stories from The Times' correspondents around the globe, reporting on anything from sporting events to election campaigns. The ads are intended to run within live programmes and event television.

Initial and Live Advertising, a production company, signed a joint venture earlier this year and are in talks with interested clients, including a low-cost airline, a soft-drinks manufacturer and a mobile phone operator.

"To ensure live advertising is failsafe, we have completed a rigorous survey of the logistical, regulatory, technical and creative challenges it poses," an Endemol spokesman said. "We are confident we can offer a fully rounded service to the industry, dealing with every aspect of the creative, production, delivery and approval processes."

The BACC has issued "approval in principle" to Initial's and Live Advertising's plans, and the concept has been given the green light by the sales, traffic and presentation departments of ITV and other commercial broadcasters.

A BACC representative will be on set when the commercials, which will be produced as close to transmission as possible, are filmed. Although live ads are technically possible, regulatory approval means they go out "as live".

Live Advertising claims between seven and ten days of live commercials can be made for the cost of an average 30-second TV ad.

BT recently used a "live" ticker, which ran across the screen during a 60-second spot in the Arsenal versus Panathinaikos Champions League game and flashed up closing stock-market prices.

- Comment, p48.

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