Rival webs link up for campaign

Ads to launch May 26

SYDNEY — The tough ad climate and an emerging pay TV sector have spurred Australia’s three metro commercial TV webs and their regional affils to launch a joint advertising drive to spruce up their image.

Surprisingly, this co-operation between commercial webs Seven, Ten and Nine, and affils Prime, WIN and NBN, comes at a time when the metro stations are engaged in a white-hot battle for ratings supremacy.

The campaign launches May 26 with the slogan “Television — Use the Power,” and targets advertisers and ad agencies with full-page newspaper, magazine and trade press ads, and TV spots.

The $A1 million plus ($550,000) initiative, orchestrated by peak industry body the Federation of Australian Commercial Television Stations, has been 18 months in the pipeline.

FACTS chairman and director of broadcast services for Seven, Judi Stack, says the hype generated by the Internet, vid games and pay TV gives the impression audiences are fragmenting, when FACTS research shows people are watching more TV, not less.

She says the campaign is designed to undo that perception. “As an industry we’ve tended to believe we don’t need to tell people how fantastic (TV) is.” Stack conceded “growth in ad spending has slowed, in a tighter market there’s even more accountability but that is not the impetus for the campaign.” She says the industry’s reputation has not been hit by the widely-reported ratings battle. “We’ve always been competitors, that’s healthy for advertisers.”