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ITV's Simon Daglish defends TV's advertising "wastage"

18 Mar 2016  |  David Pidgeon 
ITV's Simon Daglish defends TV's advertising "wastage"

Daglish, right, in conversation with Graham Lovelace

ITV's group commercial director has lambasted the ad industry for overusing data, whilst questioning the long-term effectiveness of targeted digital marketing by claiming no brand has successfully been built solely online.

Outlining ITV's data strategy during the Connected TV World Summit, Simon Daglish responded to the ongoing argument that linear TV advertising has high levels of so-called "advertising wastage" by claiming it was actually a good thing for brands.

"All of the brands in your fridge have been built on wastage," he said. "It is enormously effective.

"I can't think of a single brand built solely in an online environment, however. Most brands are built on television."

For Daglish, data in the media and advertising industries is currently being used like a "drunk uses a lamppost: to lean on, rather than illuminate. Data is not the answer; it is a part of the solution."

For ITV - which has just marked its sixth consecutive year of double digit profit growth - that solution is a mixture of "context, content and data" working together.

"It's certainly not just one of those things. It's all three together, and that is what television does."

Despite the misgivings, Daglish did outline the ways in which the UK's largest commercial broadcaster was beginning to incorporate data and ad tech into its inner workings.

Its online player, ITV Hub, has recently followed Channel 4 down the route of using a compulsory sign-in that captures an email address, date of birth, name and postcode.

That data is now being used in conjunction with other data-sets to improve ad targeting in online environments. The results have impressed ITV, Daglish said, with ad awareness increasing by 71% and message recall up 150% in recent effectiveness studies.

Late last year ITV Commercial also announced it is to begin working with programmatic ad platform RadiumOne to launch Ad Sync+, which will link ITV's broadcast output to RadiumOne's sharing data capability.

The move will allow ITV's television advertisers to reach audiences simultaneously across other devices and online environments with targeted ads.

However, Daglish maintained that a single ad - complete with wastage - being broadcast to 10 million Coronation Street viewers was still the most effective way to build a brand in the long-term.

"There is still an effect in having a single ad reach a mass audience all at the same time, and that's what linear TV does so brilliantly," he said.

"BMW will only really sell to an upmarket audience, however their TV campaigns aren't necessarily aimed at the audience buying the car - they're often aimed at the audience that says, 'oooh, he's got a BMW'."

However, critics have argued that traditional television is more interested in clinging on to its substantial advertising revenues to want to rock the boat and hurry down the programmatic path.

There are outside pressures, most notably from the media agency world, that want to see broadcasters do more to limit the wastage, however, and offer advertisers a more accountable and targeted way in which to spend their marketing budgets.

In the meantime, ITV's chief executive, Adam Crozier, said that that the broadcaster will continue to invest in digital media to drive "closer engagement" with online audiences, develop more targeted advertising with new initiatives such as AdSync+ and ITV AdVenutures, and look for new ways to monetise content online as well as pay channels.

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