Magazine article Marketing

ITV's Nimble and Sharp Schedule Keeps Audiences

Magazine article Marketing

ITV's Nimble and Sharp Schedule Keeps Audiences

Article excerpt

I was sorry Zenith's chief executive, Christine Walker, could muster only two cheers for ITV in Media Speak on April 21. In criticising the Network Centre for taking on EastEnders on Monday nights, she misses a number of points, the most important being that if ITV loses, then our advertisers suffer reduced impacts. If ITV attracts viewers and wins, then so do our customers.

Changing the Monday night schedule was an interim measure to counter the BBC's aggressive move to poach viewers on its weakest night. Moreover, the figures so far show the Centre's rapid response worked extremely well. All advertisers with a campaign on ITV over the past few weeks would have expected nothing less to ensure that their communications levels were not adversely affected. If we don't get the viewers, we can't expect to get the revenue. If we don't get the revenue, the amount that can be reinvested into original UK production by commissioning expensive, high quality dramas such as Prime Suspect, Cracker, A Touch of Frost, Peak Practice and so on, will be diminished. If this happens, there will be two losers. The viewer will be denied access to programmes of this quality and popularity, and the advertiser will be denied access to his whole market. It isn't just a ratings war with no real commercial impact. Peak-time ratings of the size delivered by ITV are not only our lifeblood, but the very foundations on which television advertising has continually proved its worth to ITV's customers for nearly 40 years. It is the volume of viewers combined with the intrusive impact of the television medium that gives ITV its unique quality. …

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