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Monday, February 16, 2009

ITV: a lesson from history

I feel sorry for anyone who's livelihood might be affected by the cuts that ITV is said to be contemplating in the light of the fall in its advertising revenue. I also remember how ITV used to boss the market when it held a virtual monopoly over TV advertising in this country. In the early 80s I was involved in the launches of mass circulation magazines supported by TV advertising. In cases like these you had to be able to buy the first break in, say, Wednesday's "Coronation Street". Of course, you'd have to pay top dollar for the privilege. Nevertheless, as your advertising agency would explain to you, you had no guarantee that the ad would actually appear. If one of their bigger clients, such as Proctor and Gamble, came along in the late afternoon and wanted that slot instead, they would have no compunction about replacing your ad with theirs and your whole, carefully planned campaign would be holed below the waterline. That's irrelevant now but, well, I remember.