Mythbuster: Death of TV

Les Binet and Sarah Carter

If there's one thing most marketing folk seem to agree on, it's the death throes of 'traditional' TV advertising. Type 'TV advertising is dying' into Google and thousands of articles emerge, explaining why TV is doomed in today's digital world.

For a start, TV viewing is in terminal decline, isn't it? Families no longer sit glued to their box every night – instead, they entertain themselves with a growing list of glittering alternatives: DVDs, computer games, mobile phones, iPods, Facebook.

What's more, the dwindling pool of TV viewers is becoming more fragmented, as the number of channels increases. So the number of people reached by any given TV spot goes down and down each year. And, if TV advertising can no longer reach mass audiences, surely it loses its raison d'être?

And isn't it obvious that all of this is going to get worse? It's accepted wisdom that young people hardly watch TV at all now, and, anyway, the rise of Sky+ and other PVRs means that those who do watch telly will skip most of the ads. TV advertising looks doomed.