The advantages of advertising on TV have been well-rehearsed by the industry, but UK broadcasters need to join forces to push ahead with innovations on both the technical and sales sides, according to Sky’s CEO.

“We have two jobs for big advertisers,” Stephen van Rooyen, CEO Sky UK & Ireland, told Mediatel’s Future TV Advertising Forum yesterday: “We need to innovate between us – TV advertising hasn’t really changed over time – and we have to make it easy for advertisers.”

The latter point related to the difficulties advertisers sometimes face in dealing with big agencies – “I don’t think we necessarily make it easy to advertise with us”, he noted.

But factors such as reach, brand safety, reputation and long-term content all play in favour of TV, he added.

There have been some innovations in TV advertising: Channel 4 is experimenting with contextual advertising, for example, and Sky’s AdSmart addressable offering is currently the fastest growing part of its advertising business – up 30% this year and more next year, said van Rooyen.

Addressable TV advertising performs two functions, he explained. It “fills in space” for big brands and draws in new advertisers.

An example of the former might be an antihistamine brand running an advertising campaign in spring but able to adjust spending towards specific areas depending on daily pollen counts.

In the latter case, while new advertisers are often SMEs that’s not always the case. ”[Motoring brand] McLaren is never going to find it effective to have a big TV advertising campaign but if we target the top 1% or 2% of households in the country, it can reach them,” he pointed out. “For us, it’s a rich vein to tap into.”

ITV, meanwhile, has been discussing targeted advertising “for quite a long time”, admitted CEO Carolyn McCall. “I think there’s quite a lot of hype about it,” she said: “It works really well for some advertisers but for others it’s just not going to be very effective.”

As it builds ITV Hub, its digital offering, the media brand is aiming to make that more relevant to advertisers. It won’t be partnering with AdSmart, though – McCall highlighted the technical and commission costs involved – and will develop its own offer.

“ITV will have addressable advertising, we will have our own ad tech stack which will allow advertisers to target people on Hub,” she said. “We can already to a bit of targeting,” she added citing the way Uber uses the platform.

Sourced from WARC