LONDON: ITV, the UK commercial broadcaster, saw growth in net advertising revenues during 2015, with the chief executive observing signs of disillusionment with digital among advertisers.

"I think there are growing concerns about how impactful digital advertising is and the impact of malware," said Adam Crozier, as he announced the broadcaster's full-year results.

"TV advertising absolutely remains the most efficient and effective medium for advertisers," he maintained, adding that many tech companies were "extremely envious of our ability to deliver mass audiences".

Recent research from Thinkbox, the TV marketing body, indicated that online businesses are now the second largest TV advertising category, with leaders such as Facebook and Google spending more than 60% of their marketing budgets on TV advertising.

Where those firms have an edge is in targeting and Crozier conceded that ITV had work to do here as it developed "new and more targeted advertising initiatives to extend advertising campaigns beyond the television spot, such as AdSync+ and ITV AdVentures".

The moves to reduce dependence on UK spot advertising – 49% of total revenue now comes from other sources – have also involved partnerships and sponsorship deals and increased consumer interactivity.

Overall, net advertising revenues were up 6% for the year, helped by "a sustained recovery in the UK advertising market".

And Crozier expected ITV would outperform the television advertising market generally over the course of this year.

He also reported that in the first months of 2016 the ITV family of channels had reversed its decline in share of viewing (SOV). This was down 3% during 2015 but up 2% so far this year; and the main channel, ITV1, has seen a 5% increase compared to the 4% drop seen over course of last year.

Last year's SOV fall was attributed to the impact of new free-to-air digital channels, strong competition from the BBC and some factual shows under-performing against expectations.

In any case, the review added, SOV is not necessarily a direct indicator of advertising performance since advertisers are buying scale and breadth of audience.

Data sourced from ITV, Media Week; additional content by Warc staff