Magazine article Marketing

The Centralizer Must Resist the Label of Fall-Guy

Magazine article Marketing

The Centralizer Must Resist the Label of Fall-Guy

Article excerpt

A fortnight ago, on this very page, an anonymous ITV sales manager foresaw the "collapse" of the airtime market if advertisers selfishly continued centralising and giving the contractors a hard time. Another woe was the "concentration" of buying power in the hands of a few media specialists.

An onlooker would no doubt consider that the media buyers must be concentrated into a small number of large, aggressive companies. The reality is different. No single media company accounts for more than 13% of the total TV market, while the largest single advertiser accounts for only 8%. Even if amalgamation were to halve the number of buying points, there would still be more than enough competition to safeguard ethics, standards and choice for the advertiser.

The reason for this impending collapse must therefore lie elsewhere. Over the past five years the 14 regional ITV broadcasters, each with their own salesforce, have boiled down to five selling companies. The history of all these new companies has been brief and pressurised. Their existence has depended on their share performance within ITV. So it is no surprise, given the individuals in these sales operations were fighting for their existence, that maximising revenue became all, sometimes with no regard to the consequences.

Until stability prevails, then the current trading crisis will continue. The media buyers and those clients who have chosen centralisation should not, however, tolerate being used as fall-guys.

In these market conditions centralisation is now an option that nobody should overlook. …

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