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Media: Double Standards - 'TV sparks the most interest, debate and sales'
[November 30, 2007]

Media: Double Standards - 'TV sparks the most interest, debate and sales'


(Campaign Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Two industry figures insist that despite ad curbs and doubts over the 30-second spot, TV and, in particular, the morning and children's sectors are in rude health.

SIMON POOLE - SALES AND MARKETING CONTROLLER, GMTV

- What's your sell to advertisers?

In the first instance, we remind them of the power of television, and then highlight the uniqueness of the breakfast daypart within this There are fundamental differences in the way television is viewed in the morning compared with other dayparts, and all the independent research that we have conducted demonstrates the huge benefits for advertisers in communicating to people at breakfast time. For example, our latest initiative, 'Breakfast Brain Waves', uses cutting-edge neuroscience research that proves television ads are more effective when seen at breakfast time.



- How important is programming to children within this?

Vitally important - it is an established part of our weekend output on GMTV1 and appears seven days a week on GMTV2. Our viewers expect it and our advertisers love it. Quality is, therefore, paramount.


- How hard have the Ofcom restrictions around advertising of foods high in fat, sugar or salt hit your revenues?

Obviously, this is confidential information, but clearly when a category of advertising is significantly reduced, revenue suffers.

- Has this impacted greatly on the quality/budgets of your children's programming?

At GMTV, we have a firm commitment to delivering top-quality children's programming. We will continue to show the very best animations. Disney, as a shareholder, is very much at the forefront of our programme output.

- More generally, what are the highlights of your schedule right now?

GMTV is three-and-a-half hours of live television every day, and so we are able to build a very special relationship with our 4.5 million daily viewers. It's a programme environment that has politicians, stars from the world of fashion, film, music and sport, etc, queuing up to appear on the GMTV sofa, and advertisers want to be part of that.

- Which recent activity for advertisers are you most pleased with?

Creatively, I love the latest Sony Walkman ad. Commercially, we have recently had huge success with a toy advertiser that incorporated all our commercial offerings of airtime, sponsorship and online, inviting viewers to participate in the design of the product. Generally, I am just pleased that more and more advertisers are recognising the benefits of GMTV as part of their marketing mix.

- What's the best thing about working in TV right now?

TV is changing and our programme now goes beyond the TV screen on to the internet, mobiles, etc. Being involved in highlighting these increasing opportunities for advertisers within the TV market is truly very fortunate. TV is still the lead medium, the one that sparks the most interest, debate and, of course, sales.

- Is there a big issue, though, with TV in general having something of an image problem, and is this impacting on revenues?

On the contrary, TV continues to prove itself to be the most effective medium for advertisers. Thinkbox is doing a fantastic job reminding the advertising industry of just how good TV is. The audience still love it, revenue is on the up - let's hope the economy can keep up!

BOBI CARLEY - DIRECTOR OF KIDS, VIACOM BRAND SOLUTIONS

- What's your sell to advertisers?

Extremely strong brands - MTV, VH1, Paramount, Nickelodeon and E! - that allow us a fantastic relationship with those 'hard-to-reach' audiences. Our working mantra is: insight, ideas, partnership. We focus on advertising effectiveness, which means we care about results.

- How important is programming to children within this?

Strong programming is essential in delivering the audience and representing the brand values.

- How hard have the Ofcom restrictions around advertising of foods high in fat, sugar or salt hit your revenues?

There's no doubt that Ofcom's decision late last year was very tough for the children's channels. However, as much of the children's HFSS advertising had already disappeared before the restriction was in place and with Ofcom allowing us two years' grace from a total ban, it has allowed us to manage this position. We have, however, worked extremely hard generating new revenue streams.

- Has this impacted greatly on the quality/budgets of your children's programming?

As the leading commercial children's TV company, Nick UK has been growing its programme budgets by an average of 10 per cent each year - a substantial proportion of which goes back into original UK production as well as a broad range of quality international programmes.

- More generally, what are the highlights of your schedule right now?

There is so much great programming on the channel: live action with Drake & Josh and H20, fantastic pre-school properties with Lazy Town, Roary the Racing Car and Dora, as well as the first UK Kids' Choice Awards in October. All of this has grown our share of the commercial children's market to 40 per cent this year, and we will build on this success with a great line-up for 2008.

- Which recent activity for advertisers are you most pleased with?

It's tough to single out any individual client or agency because, in truth, we're delighted with all the collaborations we've had with our partners. But probably the breakthrough into the car market with Skoda and the multi-tiered partnership with Vauxhall have stood out. It was also fantastic to get Character Group on board supporting our first Kids' Choice Awards event.

- What's the best thing about working in TV right now?

Three areas: working with fantastic broadcasters who really understand their audience and are passionate about it; working with some great partners developing advertising solutions that are making a real impact on the success of those businesses; and developing new advertising opportunities in the digital space.

- Is there a big issue, though, with TV in general having something of an image problem, and is this impacting on revenues?

No, I think there is an issue with those who understand very little about advertising or TV, but are getting considerable airplay about advertising models that have yet to prove themselves. TV is fantastic at driving results and building brands, and we have numerous examples of this. Additionally, TV is up 3 per cent this year and predictions are that it will increase even more in 2008. TV and its derivatives are at the centre of the digital age.

Copyright 2007 Haymarket Business Publications Ltd, Source: The Financial Times Limited

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