No Gold for Olympic TV; UK ADVERTISERS ARE OUT OF THE GAMES AFTER EURO 96

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), July 21, 1996 | Go to article overview

No Gold for Olympic TV; UK ADVERTISERS ARE OUT OF THE GAMES AFTER EURO 96


Byline: RICHARD GRANT

THE Olympics are an also-ran as far as advertisers in the UK are concerned.

As the centenary opening ceremony was held early yesterday, it was clear that major UK advertisers have spurned high-spending TV campaigns tied to the Games.

Instead of going for gold, the Atlanta Olympics will collect only a silver medal in the TV advertising stakes. The top medals, according to advertising industry experts, went to last month's Euro 96 soccer tournament.

The interest generated by Euro 96, culminating for England fans in Gareth Southgate missing a vital penalty against Germany, has left the UK TV audience exhausted.

Add the five-hour time difference between Britain and Atlanta, Georgia, and the onset of the annual British holiday race to the sun, and the Olympic advertising market is left puffing. UK Olympic TV commercials are likely to be worth [pounds sterling]6 million, compared with [pounds sterling]20 million for Euro 96, says advertising monitor Carat Research.

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola is spending [pounds sterling]40 million on TV in the US as part of a mammoth sponsorship deal, and plans to show 86 different commercials - more than three a day. But Coke is spending far less in the UK and will show only three different commercials on ITV during the three-week Olympic festival.

Coca-Cola UK says: `We've been spoilt for choice this year with Euro 96, Wimbledon and the Olympics. Early this year audience research showed more interest in Euro 96 than in the Olympics, and that's where we decided to concentrate spending.' Coke was the official drink of Euro 96.

Coca-Cola UK spent [pounds sterling]14 million in sponsorship and advertising on the soccer tournament, compared with the [pounds sterling]10 million it normally spends in a whole year. In return, it says, June sales soared 25%.

But for Atlanta, where its parent company is a top 10 sponsor, the UK ad spend is expected to be less than [pounds sterling]9 million.

Research shows the Olympics has wider appeal than Euro 96, with 42% saying they plan to watch compared with 33% for the soccer, but advertising experts say there is too much running against the Olympics. …

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