ITV Abandons Ratings Plan to Focus on Challenge to BBC

17 November 2000

Commercial broadcasting network ITV has abandoned its audience targets and will instead guarantee advertisers that its viewing figures will best those of the BBC and be the largest of any ad-carrying station in multi-channel homes.

ITV published a three-year plan in 1998, but has consistently failed to match its targets. Commented the network’s commercial and marketing director John Hardie: “We are more likely to guarantee a lead ahead of the BBC and being the largest channel in multi-channel, digital homes”.

Hardie added: “We are hearing from advertisers that they want ITV to deliver big audiences for programmes in peak time and compete against the BBC, so us being measured against the BBC may be a more appropriate currency than a share of TV”.

This strategy seems to have been approved by the media policy group of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, whose chairman Jim Marshall stated: “When Richard Eyre set the peaktime targets, we did say we wanted ITV to concentrate on its performance against the BBC. In the past it probably tried to do too many things rather than concentrating its firepower on its main competitor”.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)