MEDIA: Stations seek brand values’

It is no coincidence that Marc Sands, Granada UK Broadcasting’s new marketing director, is to take up his post in March. It is the same month that Channel 5 is due to launch, and the cutthroat battle for the hearts and minds of the TV public begins.

It is no coincidence that Marc Sands, Granada UK Broadcasting’s new

marketing director, is to take up his post in March. It is the same

month that Channel 5 is due to launch, and the cutthroat battle for the

hearts and minds of the TV public begins.



According to David Liddiment, Granada UK’s managing director, Sands’s

role will be to ‘understand what the consumer wants and make sure we

deliver. We will ensure our marketing efforts in ITV as well as the

station brands are maximised’.



The media industry sees Sands’s appointment as a step in the right

direction, but will wait to see whether Granada is simply paying lip

service to its advertisers, or whether Sands will play a central

marketing role for both Granada and the ITV Network.



John Hooper, director general of the Incorporated Society of British

Advertisers, says: ‘I think that it’s an excellent role and long

overdue. But there are a lot of big egos in broadcasting; are

broadcasters going to accept the role of a marketing person?’



Sands will have the prime opportunity of tying in the company’s

broadcasting brands with its hotel, service station and TV rental

franchises. It is too early for him to formulate plans on that side, but

he knows what he wants to do with straight TV branding.



‘The proposition for LWT and Granada will be a lot clearer than it is

now. LWT is TV for Londoners, in the best days of the week. It doesn’t

really do that now.’ Granada is best known for Coronation Street, World

in Action and drama premieres such as Moll Flanders. LWT is associated

with Blind Date, London’s Burning and You’ve Been Framed.



Media buyers and advertisers will be happy if Sands can help prevent the

declining audiences for ITV. David Beadle, The Media Factors media

director, says: ‘People with a marketing perspective will be pleased

with what ITV is doing as a whole. In the past, Granada has been an old,

fairly stolid operation. It is now starting to move, albeit slowly, into

a marketing operation.’



Granada and LWT might now have their marketing strategist about to join,

but the ITV Network has got its head-hunters out looking to fill what

must be a key jobs of 1997: a marketing director for the whole network.

The position might have prestige, but there is a feeling that whoever

takes it on will find themselves with the sort of task that Mike Hayes,

former marketing director of the Cable Communications Association, took

on when he was asked to unite the whole industry behind one campaign.



Traditionally, broadcasters do not spend very much marketing their

medium in off-air promotions (see box). But this will change as all the

ITV stations realise that they are going to have to promote their brands

along with their programmes if they are going to remain a force in the

television market.



------------------------------------------------------------------------

ITV advertising spends

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carlton               pounds 1.6m

HTV                   pounds 0.19m

LWT                   pounds 0.18m

Scottish TV           pounds 0.35m

Total                 pounds 3.3m

ITV Network           pounds 1.1m

Source: Register-MEAL, 12 months to Sept 96

------------------------------------------------------------------------



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