The plan by Britain's Independent Television Commission to merge the advertising sales units of Channel 4, Channel 5, GMTV, BSkyB and Flextech has been bitterly opposed by the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers – an organisation representing some three hundred of the nation’s major advertisers.

The ITC believes such a merger would redress an out-of-kilter ad market which is 60% controlled by the Carlton/Granada dominated ITV network. Advertisers and agencies, however, fear that it would trigger a 'radical shift in power' from advertisers to broadcasters, giving the green light to ad rate inflation.

ISBA has slammed the proposal in a submission lodged with the ITC on Friday, arguing that the market is already distorted by the paramount duo of the ITV network and its ratings rival, the non-commercial BBC. According to ISBA director Bob Wootton, reducing the number of sales points will only serve to weaken market competition even further.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)