Carter: ‘Not A Lot You Can Do’ About Web Ads Turmoil

Nothing like a hard dose of reality – except this one came from the man on whose shoulders many hopes are pinned for a media business roadmap…

Reminded that Trinity Mirror (LSE: TNI) CEO Sly Bailey lambasted his interim Digital Britain report’s “crushing lack of understanding” and “only passing reference to newspapers”, Lord Stephen Carter told MediaGuardian’s Changing Media Summit: “If you’re in an advertising-funded, single-sector market, it’s tough right now – partly because of the economy, partly because internet advertising is repricing traditional media inventory. I’m not entirely sure there’s an awful lot you can do about that. The advertisers are going to what they see as the most efficient medium.”

He added: “I think Sly was wrong. There were definitely things in the interim report that were very relevant to the local and national newspaper industry.” Bailey called for a relaxation of cross-media merger regulation.

Carter also discouraged commentators from talking about a BBC Worldwide/Channel 4 partnership as both a merger and a done deal: “It was not a firm proposal – it was an option, and it was made clear that we would look at other options. The descriptor of the “BBC Worldwide/Channel 4 merger” is a very unhelpful and not very granular Description of the option… the devil is in the detail. The original place we were trying to get to was not based on the Channel question – it’s an important question but it’s been overwritten.”