Brit Marketing Bosses Lambast TV, Switch Spend Below-the-Line

27 September 2001

Presiding over the time-honoured and recondite ritual of TV-bashing, two senior marketers told Britain's annual Marketing Forum that the medium no longer measured up to their marketing needs, driving them to invest instead in non-core promotional techniques.

Such slanging by the great and good of British marketing, especially in the spotlight of a major industry talkfest, is bad news for the nation’s beleaguered TV industry. According to the latest estimates from media buying agencies, TV advertising is already projected to decline by a massive 12% this year, shedding £400 million to £2.8 billion.

One of the critical duo, Britvic marketing director, Andrew Marsden, told his peers: “TV has had a very good run at very overpriced airtime so we are looking at using a lot of other non-core methods of advertising.” These, however, would not include online advertising, dismissed by Marsden as “completely useless”.

Soft drinks manufacturer Britvic will instead divert a substantial proportion of its £30m annual marketing spend to sponsorship, in particular to building the relationship of its Robinson’s brand with tennis.

Declared critic number two, Steve Wilson, director of global brand innovation at Guinness UDV: “Our target consumers no longer sit at home and watch TV. Although TV is still our biggest area of spend, we are trying loads of other things.” These include diverting Guinness spend to sponsorship of events such as the Witness Music Festival, which it plans to roll out internationally.

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