Magazine article Marketing

ITC to Investigate Unilever's ITV Deal

Magazine article Marketing

ITC to Investigate Unilever's ITV Deal

Article excerpt

The Independent Television Commission (ITC) is to probe Unilever's pounds 320m deal with ITV to see if it raises issues about fair and effective competition in the TV marketplace.

The deal, announced in May, was billed as the largest in UK media history, locking Birds Eye Wall's, Lever Faberge, Unilever Cosmetics International and Unilever Bestfoods into a four-year agreement with ITV. In return, Unilever is expected to gain discounts of 25%. An announcement at the time by Unilever referred to a 'deal' rather than 'deals', but said it had been signed with both Carlton Sales and Granada Enterprises.

The ITC is believed to be acting in response to an 'expression of concern' made by a rival broadcaster about the way in which the deal was done.

A source at one commercial broadcaster said the simultaneous announcement of the deal raised concerns that it could fall foul of ITC rules. They prevent joint selling of airtime by Carlton and Granada and ban deals requiring advertisers to commit a share of revenue to ITV. …

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