Carlton Communications and Granada Media – dominant shareholders in UK network ITV – are wasting no time in pushing through their vision of a unified network.
The duo, which last week unveiled plans to merge, are to scrap the regional identities of the eleven ITV franchises they own, effective Monday. Independent ITV station Channel is also taking part in the rechristening, which is costing £750,000 ($1.16 million; €1.19m) and will be backed by an £11m ad campaign.
The decision means the end for local ITV brands such as Yorkshire, Granada and LWT. In their place will be a single identity, using a new logo with the letters ITV in yellow on a blue background. In Wales, Granada-owned HTV will become ITV1 Wales.
Carlton and Granada hope the move towards a unified network will win over advertisers and viewers. ITV executives claim that, although people value regional news and weather, the local brand names matter only to the over-55s – an age group traditionally shown the cold shoulder by advertisers.
However, the independently owned Scottish Television, Grampian and Ulster Television franchises are not taking part in the rebranding, arguing that their regional identities aid advertising and ratings.
Data sourced from: Independent.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff