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ITV calls for rethink of its advertising covenant

ITV head Adam Crozier has blamed his channels focus on “lowest common denominator” programming to a “ratings rat race” brought about by advertising restrictions.

Crozier castigated regulations known as Contracts Rights Renewal (CRR), which governs advertising on ITV1, for a “remarkable lack of diversity” in his channels scheduling and a preoccupation with commercial fodder.

Commercial rivals including Channel 4 and Channel 5 rubbished the claims however, alleging that Crozier was using CRR as a scapegoat for his channels business model which predated the ad regs.

Five’s head of regulatory affairs, martin Stott, claimed that the biggest impact on terrestrial scheduling had come from increased competition from hundreds of digital channels.

CRR was introduced in 2003 to prevent ITV from abusing its dominant position within TV advertising. However as this linked advertising rates to audience share the channel has been hit by falling revenue ever since.

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