Westcountry moves sales contract from TSMS to Carlton UK

Westcountry Television has served notice on its airtime sales house, TSMS, and is to move its sales contract to Carlton UK Sales. Carlton will begin booking ads on the station from next month.

Westcountry Television has served notice on its airtime sales

house, TSMS, and is to move its sales contract to Carlton UK Sales.

Carlton will begin booking ads on the station from next month.



The shift follows Carlton Communications’ acquisition of Westcountry

last November and, as part of the airtime sales move, Carlton UK Sales’

managing director, Martin Bowley, will join the board of

Westcountry.



The Westcountry account will officially move to Carlton on 1 June, but

Carlton will book June’s airtime on the station from April. Westcountry

joins Carlton Television and the other Carlton-owned ITV station,

Central Television, at Carlton UK Sales.



The move makes Carlton the largest of the three ITV sales houses,

representing just over 34 per cent of ITV ad revenue and just under the

25 per cent of all TV ad revenue, which is the maximum that any one

sales house is permitted to control. Westcountry last year took a 2.27

per cent share of ITV ad revenue.



Bowley, who used to be the sales director of TSW - the company that lost

its broadcasting licence to Westcountry in the last licence review -

said: ’When I was involved, Westcountry took a 2.6 per cent share. Our

ambitions will be to keep the company’s share closer to that level than

last year’s performance.’



Bowley added that Carlton expects to take on around 35 more people to

handle the Westcountry contract, though they won’t necessarily come from

TSMS. ’We’ll take the best people from where we find them.’



Jerry Hill, the chief executive of TSMS, said he would be making no

redundancies.



’We didn’t have anyone working specifically on this business,’ he

stated.



’We will use the people we’ve got to raise the level of service.’



As well as Bowley, many of Carlton’s existing sales team came from TSW

and have experience of the region. Bowley described the Carlton crew as

’a safe pair of hands’ for Westcountry.



Carlton UK Sales remains the only ITV sales house to be owned by all the

stations it represents.