ITV Pleads For Ad Tech Standardisation

The UK’s leading commercial TV broadcaster, ITV (LSE: ITV), has issued a “rallying cry” for industry-wide harmonisation of ad targeting technologies, as it tries using new-wave ads to monetise its on-demand video ahead of a micropayments push.

“If everyone develops their own customised targeting approach, which is happening, things are going to get needlessly messy and confusing, it starts to not make any sense,” ITV commercial and online MD Fru Hazlitt told the Association of Online Publishers’ summit in London on Friday.

“We need to work on a common targeting approach across all agencies, advertisers and publishers. That will be a real rallying cry from us. A standardised approach, if we are not to drown ourselves.”

ITV’s VOD success is finally now kicking in. Monthly long-form video views are 60 percent up from last year and, in the last few weeks during which X Factor has aired, are 95 percent up. Last year, ITV served a billion VOD pieces, compared with 350 billion TV impressions. The broadcaster is currently planning ways to extricate content payments from viewers.

“But we should not for a minute think these opportunities are all about moving away from advertising,” Hazlitt told the AOP Summit. “I believe the greatest opportunity lays in using multiplatform video on-demand to revive advertising itself.

“TV ads today work pretty much the same way as ones broadcast back in the 50s, which is probably wrong. Scattergun mass advertising is giving way to one-to-one targeted advertising.

“We have the potential for advertising which both stimulates and enables a dialogue with consumers. That dialogue can lead to a transaction.”

Hazlitt did not elaborate on which barriers ITV has hit that led her to seek harmonisation of ad tech standards.

In early examples of such ads, ITV has run an Argos TV ad that asks viewers to find products featured in Emmerdale inside the retailer’s catalogue, and a quiz inside X Factor pre-roll ads that, when answered correctly, bring the ad to a halt and take viewers straight to the show.