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ITV chief Allen pushes for on-screen logo advertising

LONDON – Charles Allen, ITV's chief executive, is planning to take commercial broadcasting to the next level by introducing on-screen logos during a show rather than just at the beginning and end, as part of an attempt to beat ad avoidance.

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Speaking at the Royal Television Society Conference yesterday, Allen said that he has already started work on implementing the regulatory changes, which will have to go through Brussels not Ofcom, to allow product placement in the UK.

With the rise of personal video recorder technology, which allows viewers to skip ads, broadcasters are having to explore new ways of attracting advertisers and on-screen logos is one of the most viable options.

At present, ITV has sponsorship deals with brands including Cadbury for 'Coronation Street', Nokia for 'X Factor', Imperial Leather for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway' and Prudential for 'Parkinson', with many more in the pipeline for future projects.

If the law was passed in Europe, ITV could extend its sponsorship deals to small logos displayed on screen throughout its programmes to beat the threat from PVRs.

Allen stressed that in its current state, the broadcasters were failing to sell TV as a medium to advertisers.

"Everyone has been undermining each other to the client. But we are now sitting in front of a client as a single ITV. A 1% move from advertisers would be the equivalent of £140m coming into this medium."

He also hit home the importance of making creative formats and scheduling more live programming to compete with the new PVR technology.

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