Magazine article Marketing

TV Market Has to Rethink How It Uses the Medium

Magazine article Marketing

TV Market Has to Rethink How It Uses the Medium

Article excerpt

Once Grampian Television finally decides which sales house suitor to settle for, the final piece of the commercial airtime sales jigsaw will have fallen into place.

This will leave us with three leviathan ITV sales houses; the fashionable, but revenue-burgeoning Channel 4 force; the increasingly influential offering from Sky Television and other satellite compadres; plus, of course, GMTV.

In reality this now gives us a healthy and hugely varied TV market for advertisers to communicate through. And like so many businesses the shape and culture of commercial TV in the mid-90s is unrecognisable from that which prevailed at the end of the 80s.

So with the sales jigsaw complete, and with a period of stability beckoning, perhaps now should be the time for the industry to reappraise its approach to using the medium. I can't help thinking that all elements of the TV trading equation ie, sellers, buyers, clients and auditors, have now reached that dangerous stage where they know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

TV continues to be a hugely dynamic medium. Its peaks can still bond the nation together like no other medium; and as competition expands the medium can increasingly offer discrete targeting opportunities in immensely influential environments.

As viewers we recognise these basic phenomena. Yet when it comes to trading TV, the industry tends to forget the real nature of human behaviour in the consumption of the medium. Instead we embrace the byzantine security blankets woven in the mid-70s, ie 30-second equivalent cost per thousand, and discounts off the average ITV station price. …

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