Magazine article Marketing

Media Buyers' Ratings Choice

Magazine article Marketing

Media Buyers' Ratings Choice

Article excerpt

There are now 20 channels reported on by the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. This means 20 channels jostling for a share of your TV expenditure. But how do media buyers divide up their ratings between the channels?

As the biggest commercial channel, ITV naturally claims the highest proportion of ratings bought by most agencies.

Yet media independents such as PHD, London Media and the Media Business are consistently high investors in Channel 4, according to an analysis of Billetts' Time Tracker research.

"C4 is popular because it offers the cheapest way of getting mass market media coverage," says John Billett, chief executive of the Billett Consultancy.

On satellite TV the heaviest users of the new channels tend to be the biggest brands, from companies such as Procter & Gamble and Unilever.

HK McCann, which handles media buying for Coke, has bought over 17% of its impacts on satellite so far this year, up from 8% last year.

It's clear why the big brands with broader target markets, or those targeting families with children or younger consumers, should be spending more on the general entertainment satellite channels. But there are some media buyers who do not use satellite as much as you might expect.

For Leo Burnett, Lowe Howard-Spink and London Media, satellite accounts for less than 2% of their ratings. Similarly, the UK's biggest media buyer, Zenith, is a consistently low user of breakfast station GMTV.

Dividing up the ratings

% TV ratings by channels
Top investors(*)                  ITV       C4        Satellite      GMTV

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO          62.07    30.03         4.32        2.75
BBJ Media                         74.52    14.83         7.91        2.55
CDP Media Company                 57.02    34.03         5.56        2.42
Grey London/Mediacom              72.51    16.02         5.55        5.49
HK McCann                         59.02    22.29        17.36        1.32
IDK                               86.73     5.11         5.77        1.80
Initiative Media                  62.59    21.58        10.00        4.55
John Ayling & Associates          62.74    24.96         6.12        5. … 
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