Millennium Ad Auction

Article excerpt

ADVERTISERS could be bidding up to [pounds sterling]1million to secure the last TV commercial of 1999 and the first in 2000.

A dozen firms are believed to be ready for a sealed-bid auction to create their own 30 seconds of history.

Some opened talks with the ITV companies three years ago but they could still be beaten by a big spender.

The normal cost of a half-minute peak-time commercial across the ITV network is about [pounds sterling]100,000. But firms can expect to pay [pounds sterling]500,000 for each of the first and last adverts either side of Big Ben's chimes.

John Boyle, account director at Granada Media Sales which handles advertising for London Weekend, Border, Yorkshire, Tyne Tees and Granada, said:

'We are hoping for a creative one-off to start 2000 - and possibly for the last slot in 1999 as well.

'The timing would not only appeal to those providing services in that period but also to corporate advertisers seeking to restate their message.'

Kevin Glynn, of TV airtime buying giant Carat, approached Granada about the first advert of 2000 in March 1996 for his client Abbey National. …