Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: ITV Must Balance Commercial Impacts Focus with Creativity

Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: ITV Must Balance Commercial Impacts Focus with Creativity

Article excerpt

City analysts will soon be carrying out a revaluation of ITV plc, following the announcement that the target for merger savings is going to be pounds 100m rather than a mere pounds 55m.

The extra savings will be bad news for the hundreds of staff who will lose their jobs as a result. But it will be very good news indeed for the Carlton and Granada share price before the merged company begins trading on the stock market on February 2.

As stockbrokers Investec put it, even before the extra savings had been located, when compared with profits the share price is 'undemanding' for a stock offering such a 'strong reconstruction story'.

The dusty language of the City translates into three simple propositions.

Charles Allen has a decent chance of seeing out the first year of the merged company. Michael Green, the Carlton chairman, who will be unemployed by February 2, will have little chance of returning to ITV on the back of a hostile takeover because the company will be too expensive. And a rising share price will discourage potential US predators.

Of course, there will be no room for slip-ups for Allen and ITV. They will have to deliver on their targets and plans without excuses of any kind. At least they will be flexing their muscles against a tide of advertiser confidence as the US multinationals start to return to the market.

It is already a very different ITV. The new mantra is not programmes, but commercial impacts. And as that is the main product ITV sells, it is no bad thing to concentrate on the needs of the marketing community. …

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