Monday’s announcement of a ‘virtual’ marketing and programming partnership between Carlton Communications and Granada Media (the duo that effectively control Britain's ITV network) was not received with enthusiasm by Britain's advertisers.

ISBA (the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers), representing most of the nation’s major advertisers has opposed from day one all moves toward final consolidation within the ITV network, fearing it will lead to an increase in ad rates.

In a statement, the advertisers’ body protests: “The pooling of operations could lead to information sharing between Carlton and Granada on their advertiser-customers. Such practices could, conceivably, represent a form of collusion which would hold negative consequences for competition in the airtime sales market and give Carlton and Granada’s sales houses opportunities to manipulate advertising rates.”

Nor is ISBA best pleased that the ITV pair leaked the plan to the Financial Times ahead of briefing advertisers, complaining that the move is designed to appeal to the money-manipulators rather than the companies who pay ITV’s bills.

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