ITV Courts Ire of UK Media Agencies

10 December 2008

LONDON: ITV, the UK's largest commercial broadcaster, could be the subject of formal complaints by certain of the country's media agencies, reportedly angered that it is it is breaking the terms of the Contract Rights Renewal mechanism which links advertising rates to viewing figures.

Under the terms of the CRR, advertisers can legitimately reduce their expenditure via ITV1, the broadcaster's main channel, in direct proportion to its loss in audience share.

ITV is also banned from linking ad sales on ITV1 to its various digital channels, but some agencies allege the ailing company is now doing so as it aims to boost its share of adspend.

The CRR is governed by the Office of the Adjudicator, which is responsible for ensuring ITV follows the protocol established following the merger of Carlton Communications and Granada in 2003.

An unidentified head of broadcast at one agency told Brand Republic: "ITV is aggressively selling ITV digital and trying to force agencies to put back any money that comes out of ITV1 back into ITV digital.

"It isn't meant to conditionally sell, but wants to gain a whole extra percentage point this year and is leveraging its assets as much as possible.

"If it continues like this, I wouldn't be surprised if agencies go to the adjudicator and make a complaint in confidence."

Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff