Advertisers & Media

The relationship between advertisers and the media is close, it is also competitive. Advertisers want effective advertising at prices that reflect the return on the advertising. ISBA is the representative body for UK advertisers; from our founding meeting in 1891 we have been closely involved with advertiser's needs and concerns.

Advertisers need to know about media developments and advertising costs and effectiveness whether in traditional media or in the ever-expanding digital environment.

ADVERTISERS, MEDIA & CHANNELS: as the representative body for advertisers we are members of  cross industry measurement, standards and advisory bodies.  Our unique position has allowed us to ensure serious cost savings for advertisers, for example in the proposal and defence of Contract Rights Renewal (CRR) as it applies to ITV.

ISBA’s policy positions are the result of our members working in our Action Groups and represent the collective voice of UK advertisers.


Mark Finney
Director of Media and Advertising


Digital media, once the 'new media' is fast the mainstream and with it serious regulatory hazard.

Over the last 20 years ISBA's Digital Action Group has been a leading force in lobbying and policy, identifying and resolving issues, as well as producing guidance and best practice on behalf of ISBA members.

Significant issues for 2016 concern:

ISBA champions self-regulation, and we have been heavily involved in establishing the self-regulatory framework on online behavioural advertising (the advertising icon), the cross-industry Ad Viewability standard and the Ad Fraud seal.

ISBA has also been instrumental in the Digital Trading Standards Group, which has produced the Best Practice Principles and the Infringing Website List (a unique example of the City of London Police and the advertising industry working together) both of which are now available to industry.

During 2016 we will be helping members comply with the General Data Protection Directive (GDPR).

ISBA is at the heart of the debate covering transparency and value Programmatic, producing two Guidance documents and five events exclusively for members.

If you would like to discuss any of these issues please contact David Ellison.


Television advertising is still attractive to advertisers; competition issues, price, trading and technological change are key issues

Regulation and technology continue to play a key role in the television market, whilst concerns over consolidation remain prevalent.

As regulation and consolidation continue to play an important role in the television market, ISBA continues to influence a number of reports, decisions and consultations, with significant advertiser input. Changes made in 2011 by media regulator Ofcom to its Broadcasting Code, now permits product placement, opening up new opportunities for broadcasters.

As the uptake of web-enabled TV devices proliferates, advertisers attempt to identify the associated creative and commercial opportunities available. However, the volume of planning tools being developed in the area serves to confuse the notion of universal industry metrics.

Issues currently being discussed within the television industry include:

Potential Channel 4 Privatisation

The speculation of a potential government sell-off in early October 2015 with a leaked document being photographed outside No.10 prompted ISBA, on behalf of its members, to contribute to a document commissioned by Channel 4. To view the ISBA response to House of Lords - Select Committee Channel 4 Sustainability Apr 2016, please click here.

TV commercial playout procedures & charges

At the beginning of May, Sky announced that it would be handling Channel 5’s £250m TV ad sales business from June 1st. Sky has effectively extended its existing deal with Viacom, which acquired Channel 5 last year, to represent the TV ad sales for its portfolio of channels until 2020.

As airtime sales has concentrated thus, so the delivery chain for commercials has become slightly more complex. Advertisers should give attention to which channels they are using and how their commercials are distributed to those channels. For a summary and suggested action, click here.


TV Landscape - in discussion with ITV

TV Inflation has been a key issue for ISBA’s Audiovisual Action Group and members continued to show appetite for understanding how the TV landscape and trading situation is developing throughout Q1 and looking into Q2 of 2015. Click here for further information.


BARB's new terms of business for advertisers

At the beginning of 2013, BARB, the body that conducts television audience measurement in the UK, made some changes to its rate card and terms. These included some necessary tidying up to prevent certain companies (and even potential competitors) avoiding payment to access BARB data. You can download a briefing paper here.

Ofcom's TV Advertising Review

In December 2011, Ofcom published findings of its UK TV Ad Trading Review and decided not to refer the market to the Competition Commission for a market investigation. The Review found no clear evidence of harm to consumers – whether TV viewers, advertisers or end users of products advertised on TV. 

The final decision not to refer to the Competition Commission was excellent news for advertisers who were unenthusiastic about a reference, expressing concern over the likely cost and burden. A Competition Commission Review was estimated to last around 18 months – the maximum would be two years.

ISBA members can find out more details here.

Contracts Rights Renewal (CRR)

One of ISBAs most significant legacies is the introduction of the Contract Rights Renewal price control mechanism, linking the share of budgets ITV can command from advertisers to its audience delivery. ISBA urged its imposition when the two sales houses Carlton and Granada merged in 2003, to form ITV plc.  

Despite recommendations made by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to the Competition Commission (CC) that CRR should be relaxed in 2009, the CC decided to keep the pricing mechanism, recognising advertiser and agency concerns that ITV clearly continues to have significant market power. The CC rightly acknowledged that developments since its inception in 2003, such as time-shifted and high definition channels, could justify some variation. ISBA collaborated with the OFT and Ofcom to implement suitable adjustments to CRR.

ISBA members can find out more details here.

Airtime Sales Rules Scrapped

In July 2010, Ofcom undertook the decision to remove rules governing the way TV advertising was sold to media buyers and advertisers. Despite some objections from broadcasters, the Airtime Sales Rules were scrapped from September 2010.

The rules were split into two parts – the ‘Withholding Rule’ and the ‘Conditional Selling Rule’ - both intended to ensure fair and effective competition. Advertisers expressed their disappointment and concern at the decision. However, Ofcom said it will monitor the effect of the removal of the rules and warned that broadcasters engaging in "anti-competitive conduct" would face "enforcement action".

House of Lords

Throughout 2010, the House of Lords Communications Committee conducted an inquiry into the (economic) regulation of TV advertising. Following the Committees’ call for evidence, ISBA provided both a written and verbal response to the inquiry. In February 2011, the Committee published its findings and made three key recommendations; removal of CRR, replaced with “binding undertakings” from ITV to invest proportions of any additional revenues from advertising into creating UK-originated programming and training; harmonisation of advertising minutage at an average of seven minutes per hour (same as all public-sector broadcasters (PSBs); and a “short, focused” review of the television trading system, conducted by a "small expert panel".

ISBA dismissed the Lords’ report suggesting that investment in quality content is not a direct substitute for CRR. The Department for Media, Culture and Sport (DMCS) also rejected the House of Lords’ calls for CRR to be abolished, stating its removal would likely result in higher prices.

However, DCMS endorsed Ofcom’s wider review of the television advertising market that was announced at ISBA’s Annual Conference in March 2011. Ofcom’s Chief Executive, Ed Richards, stated that “the time is right to consider whether the current trading mechanism prevents, restricts or distorts competition in the sale of TV airtime.” If the regulator concludes there is a cause for concern, the case will then be referred to the CC to examine. ISBA has responded to Ofcom’s consultation questions, offering the views of its members

Sales House Consolidation

The television market has experienced sales house consolidation amongst the sellers of commercial TV airtime as the number of major sales houses have fallen from seven to four in the past two years. Concentration within ITV, Channel 4, Five and Sky, has raised concerns over competition, which ISBA continues to remain close to. 

Technology and audience measurement

As the future of audiovisual media becomes more digital, with the increasing adoption of web-enabled set top boxes and televisions, there is greater need to provide more accurate information about the increasingly ‘connected’ audience. 

BARB, the organisation traditionally responsible for providing the official measurement of UK television audiences, is progressing with a new measure of TV viewing on PCs, laptops and tablet devices, following the introduction of a web TV-viewing meter to UK households. However, the concept of a standardised online video metric is increasingly becoming distorted by the volume of similar planning tools either already in existence or in the process of being developed. 

ISBA members can find out more details here.

Product Placement

After several rounds of consultation, legislation passed to permit paid Product Placement on broadcast media, allowing media owners to access a new source of revenue. Ofcom has outlined the regulations that are to govern the practice with the publication of its new Broadcasting Code rules with respect to Commercial references in television and radio programming.

ISBA members can find out more details here.



AVMS Directive – Ad Rules Clarification

The European Commission announced plans to revise an “interpretative communication on certain aspects of the provisions on televised advertising” to incorporate new issues relating to the new legal framework. The doc, adopted in 2004 and revised in 2007, applied to the old TV Without Frontiers Directive. The communication is non binding. The revision will aim to take into account news forms of commercial communication defined by the AVMS Directive.

ISBA members can find out more details here.




Radio remains an important medium for advertisers. The technology is changing and digital opportunities are enhancing the opportunities for all advertisers, from very local to global.

The launch of additional national and regional radio brands in recent years has been a big change for commercial radio, offering a genuine alternative to the BBC across the UK. The rollout of DAB radio is still causing problems, with tension remaining between the BBC and commercial radio over who will pay for DAB rollout.

DAB roll out and funding issues mean that progress towards switchover remains torturous and is unlikely to take place by the industry's 2015 target date. With the launch of Radioplayer, listeners are now one click away from a variety of stations meaning brands have to compete vigorously online as well as through traditional platforms.

There has been little buzz about the introduction of product placement; content guardians have been somewhat resistant to the idea as they try to control the quality of network content and lock in audience gains. Activity is tending to support other sponsorship and promotion campaigns, rather than work as standalone.

Global Radio told to divest stations - Update 

Global Radio, the owner of the Heart and Capital brands, has confirmed the purchase of Guardian Media Group's GMG Radio business, owner of Real and Smooth Radio, for a sum understood to be in the region of £50m. 

In its submission to the CC’s inquiry, ISBA expressed concerns that Global Radio’s acquisition of GMG’s radio assets would lead to excessive media ownership concentration and could see it leverage undue market dominance, leading to higher prices for regional radio advertisers.

The Competition Commission’s ruling that Global Radio must sell stations in seven UK regions has been broadly welcomed by ISBA

For a further detailed report click here.


Radio Disclaimers: a waste of money

The financial terms and conditions that are required following financial services ads on commercial radio represent an additional expense to advertisers and are of no benefit to listeners. Find out more about what ISBA is to remove the requirement for these costly and unnecessary interventions. Visit members-only page.

Global Radio told to divest stations

Global Radio, the owner of the Heart and Capital brands, has confirmed the purchase of Guardian Media Group's GMG Radio business, owner of Real and Smooth Radio, for a sum understood to be in the region of £50m. 

In its submission to the CC’s inquiry, ISBA expressed concerns that Global Radio’s acquisition of GMG’s radio assets would lead to excessive media ownership concentration and could see it leverage undue market dominance, leading to higher prices for regional radio advertisers.

The Competition Commission’s ruling that Global Radio must sell stations in seven UK regions has been broadly welcomed by ISBA

For a further detailed report click here.

New RAB Research: The Mood of the Nation

The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) has published a new study, showing that people who use media are happier and more energetic than people not using media. The research, carried out by Sparkler Research for the RAB, surveyed 1000 consumers via their smart phones, asking what media, if any, they were consuming and to rate aspects of their mood.

The results of the study were used as a basis to establish if media can exert a positive influence on the way people feel, how this happens and how does this affect engagement with advertising – especially on radio. 

ISBA members can find out more details here.

DAB National Rollout

The Government’s Digital Britain plan commits the country to switching off all analogue (ie AM and FM stations) once 50% of radio listening becomes digital and at least 9/10 homes can receive digital broadcasts.

Digital switchover is potentially good for commercial radio overall as it will have a natural 75% share of the frequencies, whereas the BBC has a legacy 50% share of analogue radio. However, Digital Britain remains contentious within the commercial radio sphere, the larger stations and groups welcoming it and the smaller players fearing for their future livelihoods.

ISBA members can find out more details here.

UK Radioplayer

The BBC and commercial radio have joined forces to create a single website called ‘Radioplayer’ which currently offers users access to all ca.250 UK radio stations’ output. 

Radioplayer launched 31st March 2011 allowing listeners to access live streaming and on-demand content from hundreds of different radio stations in one place for the first time. All of the BBC's local and national stations, as well as about 140 commercial broadcasters, are available on the service from launch.

Radioplayer could have positive implications for advertisers.  Not only will it facilitate listening, but it could enable multimedia, cross-promotional and transactional activity.


Digital developments have prompted changes at RAJAR, including taking part of the survey online. This will serve to improve respondent representation and achieve more detailed platform listening data. Respondents will continue to be canvassed, door to door, but option to report online will be available.

As audio streaming is growing, RAJAR will be working with the industry to create standards in measurement and reporting for streaming statistics. Ipsos MORI Media Cell are working towards capturing encoded broadcast on smart phone and tablet devices.

ISBA members can find out more details here.

Product Placement Rules 

After several rounds of consultation, the previous administration passed legislation to permit paid product placement on broadcast media during the legislative ‘wash-up’ which preceded the dissolution of Parliament before the General Election.

Product placement was officially introduced in the UK in February 2011, allowing media owners to access a new source of revenue. Ofcom has outlined the regulations that are to govern the practice with the publication of its new Broadcasting Code rules with respect to Commercial references in television and radio programming. 

News, current affairs and religious content are not to incorporate brands in such a way, a restriction similarly applying to material specifically targeted at children.

Alcoholic drinks, tobacco, medicine, baby milk, unhealthy foods and gambling are among the categories prohibited from utilising this strategy.


Find out more about this increasingly vibrant area of interest for advertisers

Advertisers embarking on cinema activity have previously faced two obstacles:

  • the ‘double jeopardy’ of scrutiny of their advertisements by two bodies prior to exhibition; the Cinema Advertising Association (CAA) and the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).
  • the lead times (and sometimes costs) involved in the physical production of bulk prints of their commercial to hundreds of cinemas.


Like all commercial communications, cinema ads which elicit consumer or competitor complaints are also subject to the Advertising Standards Authority’s scrutiny.  Cinema commercials which have been produced in whole or part for TV are also likely to have been subject to clearance by Clearcast,

This involved process has historically placed a disproportionate regulatory burden on all advertisers.  ISBA has long campaigned within industry and amongst Government and regulators to lighten this load. Most recently, ISBA responded to a Department for Culture, Media and Sport Consultation (DCMS Consultation on Exemptions to the Video Recording Act and on Advertising in Cinemas) in May 2012.

We urged DCMS to remove the requirement for cinema advertisements to be age rated by the BBFC when they are shown with a feature film at the cinema; and rely solely in future on the industry’s tried and tested self-regulatory regime, enforced by the CAA and ASA respectively.

The CAA is now trialling a new system to streamline copy clearance procedures, whereby it handles clearance electronically and directly with the BBFC on behalf of advertisers. The trial is taking place whilst the DCMS looks into the role of the BBFC in ad clearance, which is currently a statutory requirement.

When delivering final copy in Quicktime format via the CAA’s online submissions service, advertisers can now choose the option of submitting the clearance request to the BBFC at the same time. This removes the need for two pieces of copy and two forms to be submitted to two different approval bodies. With the CAA panel conferring online in addition to the weekly review meetings, it is now also possible to fast track approvals if required, with a subsequent reduction in production lead times.

In time, ISBA is hopeful that the CAA might also be able to fast-track copy which has passed successfully through Clearcast.

Members are reminded that their creative agencies are still required to have funds in their BBFC accounts. Any delays within the advertiser’s organisation (e.g. chasing up account departments) will inevitably slow down the clearing process, so it is important to get these funds in order before the clearing process. Members are also reminded that the BBFC (certainly during this trial period) has no relationship to Clearcast, nor does it reference any CAP codes, which means there is still some potential for delay.

However, on balance, there is a lot to celebrate. This is a substantive change on the part of the BBFC and CAA. And thanks to the tireless hard work of the cinema advertising industry, lead times continue to lessen with approval now expected within 48 hours.

Further information on the CAA’s clearance procedure is available at here


In recent years, the cinema industry has invested £200m in 3000 digital projectors across the UK. By the end of October 2012, 90% of cinema screens were digital.

Due to these investments, which include 2000 hours of software development and 250 satellite dishes, a raft of improvements and new opportunities will be available, meaning brands can book and schedule media in more tailored plans that are bespoke to their campaign and marketing requirements;

  • Lead times have been slashed - copy delivery deadlines have been reduced to one week at both DCM and Pearl & Dean.
  • Both contractors also promise faster scheduling and response. Spots can be booked and scheduled by the day instead of weekly blocks, and activity can commence on any day

ISBA has welcomed all these developments, which will ultimately provide a faster, more flexible, creative and competitive cinema medium. ISBA will maintain close liaison with DCMS and the cinema industry and will keep its members updated on any further developments.

For information, please contact Mario 0207 291 9020

Out of Home

The Out of Home market is on the road to recovery. With the Olympics around the corner, growth and investment will continue for the foreseeable future.

Out of Home media (OOH) (Outdoor, posters, billboards in all their forms) remains a strong visual brand prompting last minute calls to actions for many household purchases. There is now a clear determination to make the medium more accountable, highlighted by the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) recent investigation into the OOH advertising market. 

The growth of Digital Out of Home (DOOH) is undeniable. Despite overall investment in digital sites slowing during the recession, media owners are investing again. Digital campaigns are providing advertisers with increased flexibility - allowing day-part campaigns and shorter posting cycles.  

OFT Inquiry into the OOH Industry 

In May 2010, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) launched an inquiry into the OOH advertising market. Stimulated by three factors: concerns raised by a now-defunct outdoor specialist regarding barriers to entry in the market; concerns raised by one or more local authorities regarding exclusive long-term contracts for street furniture; and responses to the OFT’s scrutiny of J C Decaux’s acquisition of part of the defunct Titan Outdoor’s inventory.

ISBA was invited to make early input to the process, and helped the OFT draft and circulate questionnaires. ISBA initially sent out questionnaires to the top 30 advertisers in the OOH market, followed by questionnaires sent to the following 30 advertisers.

ISBA members can find out more details here.

Route (POSTAR): New Measurement System

With shifts in the OOH marketplace, roadside billboards are perhaps not as dominant as they were before because other media, not least premium digital and high impact sites, have come onto the marketplace. However, there is still no independent measurement of audience delivery. Advertisers are being asked to invest significant sums on these premium sites without sufficient verification or justification. 

The OOH industry has been investing for several years in the development of a new measurement system under industry body Route Research (formerly POSTAR) - revitalising its operations to embrace not only roadside but transit and retail media using new GPS technologies. As of early 2013, £19m had been invested in a dynamic OOH exposure survey across the UK, offering footfall data down to micro-geographic detail, with the analysis of demographic and expenditure habits included.

ISBA members can find out more details here

Sexual Images, Children and the Bailey Review

As part of an industry wide response to the concerns about the commercialisation and sexualisation of children the OMC ensured that advertisers had the option of excluding sites within 100m of schools for campaigns that might be thought unsuitable for such a location. No 10 had commissioned Reg Bailey to look at a wide range of issues, some of which the advertising industry were able to take immediate action on following the advice of the Children's panel.

Press & Print

National and Regional newspapers face a worrying time. The future of quality journalism is at stake as a key media for advertisers but new digital channels, particularly in tablet form, are providing a most welcome lifeline.

Print advertising revenues have been affected by digital channels, not least because readers can gain immediate access to online information.  This will only gather momentum as social media and location-based media spreads and, more importantly, converge.  

Different publishers are addressing this in different ways – from putting journalism behind paywalls, through maintaining content funding by extending their brands and geographies, to launching full digital titles.  This level of enterprise is characteristic of a medium which has thrived and endured for so long, but it remains to be seen which of these approaches will pay off best.

Print and Digital Media

National titles remain at the forefront of setting the news agenda, and with increasing online audiences; they arguably have more influence than ever before. However, there are fundamental concerns over the funding of quality journalism. Given declining circulation figures, publishers seek to optimise revenue, identifying a suitable balance between cover prices and ad revenue, whilst formulating strategies for the tablet age.

ISBA members can find out more details here.

News Corporation’s bid for Sky

News Corp, current owners of 39% of Sky, proposed a buyout of the entire company in June 2010. However, following pressure from various groups, including a significant alliance of media groups, the case was referred to Ofcom in order to assess whether the deal would adversely affect media plurality. 

The merger attracted widespread public and political opposition, with concerns that competition would be restricted by fostering cross selling. 

In the wake of phone hacking allegations at News of the World, News Corporation pulled out of the bid, stating that it "no longer intends to make an offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Sky not already owned by it”. Despite their belief that the proposed acquisition would benefit both companies, News Corporation stated that “it has become clear that it is too difficult to progress in this climate”

ISBA members can find out more details here.

News International’s New Trading Proposition, ‘Delivering Scarcity.’

News International has been working on a ‘new basis for trading their press space’. The new proposition is called ‘Delivering Scarcity’.

The publisher seeks to scrap the long-standing method of trading advertising space, cost-per-single-column-centimetre (SCC), which it and other national newspapers currently use to negotiate rates with media agencies.

News International believe the SCC model does not reflect audience delivery and distorts the market, and instead, wants to move to a cost per thousand (CPT)-based model.

ISBA members can find out more details here.

ABC Issues

Co-owned by all major industry stakeholders, ABC independently verifies and reports on media performance, providing a major trading currency for media buyers and owners across print, events, digital and evolving platforms.

Recent ABC board meetings have focussed on publishers’ strong desire to publish combined print and digital data.  Whilst readily accepting that one day henceforth most consumption will be through digital means, ISBA and the IPA are nevertheless resisting this development vigorously on the basis that print and digital are as yet quite different media consumption, and therefore advertising consumption, experiences. ISBA members endorsed this position, suggesting they are highly unlikely to use a combined model, which has no meaning as figures will be inflated.

Express & Independent newspapers’ ‘gatekeeper’ repro charges

Two national newspaper publishers, Express and Independent newspapers, continue to levy charges for handling colour advertisements submitted in digital file format.

These stances contrast with those taken by all other publishers following a lengthy and successful campaign by ISBA between 1997 and 2006. ISBA continues to press the matter, writing to both publishers, inviting them to review their practices and requesting that they cease charging henceforth. 

National Newspaper’s collective ad sales

Preceding the 2010 Wimbledon tennis tournament, national newspapers in the UK joined together to provide brands with a collective advertising package, tested around the Wimbledon event that saw them sell ads on their own and rivals’ titles for the first time.

The package guaranteed brands positioning alongside Wimbledon editorial across a broad reach of titles, from tabloid to broadsheet. The Sun, Daily Mail, The Independent, The Guardian, Daily Mirror, The Times, Daily Telegraph and all their sister and Sunday titles were involved.

The test package, conceived by the Newspaper Marketing Agency, was developed at a time when print ad revenues continue to decline across the newspaper sector.


Audience measurement within and across the media is a central theme of ISBA's work for more than a century. For a media to be attractive to advertisers it needs a reliable audience metric.

As new media channels, platforms device technologies come to market, so audiences are fragmenting across them, creating the need for new measurement tools.  But who will deliver them?

Fragmentation also makes it harder to accurately measure the value of advertising campaigns. With the rapid adoption of digital technology, such as smartphones, tablets and web-enabled TV devices, there is greater need to provide more accurate information about the increasingly ‘digital’ audience. 

Television and online – BARB developments

BARB is under pressure to provide more accurate multi-platform audience viewing and measurement data. It has recently been canvassing stakeholder’s opinion to identify future non-linear viewing requirements.  ISBA submitted its preliminary views in May 2011.

Advertisers were unanimous that BARB's exploration of non-linear measurement is critical to its survival. Granularity across content type (e.g. live, catch up, archived content, bespoke content and user-generated content) was seen to be more important than granularity across platforms.

Adding to the pressure is Sky’s single-source viewing panel, SkyView - a panel of 33,000, (as opposed to BARB’s panel of 5,100), providing more granular data direct from set top boxes on channels being accessed.  The BBC and Channel 4 have also both launched standalone measurement services to provide combined viewing figures across linear TV and their on-demand services iPlayer and 4oD. 

Broadcasters have historically been able to charge advertisers premium rates for prime slots based on the seemingly robust figures of BARB data.  With the introduction of sophisticated platforms, offering more accurate data, broadcasters may need to rethink their standards of measurement and share them with brands.  Funding will be an underlying issue if BARB decides to invest in such improvements. 

In reaction to this, BARB is rolling out a new measure of TV viewing on PCs and tablets to provide more accurate information. It will launch the web TV viewing meter in 100 of its panel homes over the second half of 2011. BARB will then extend its use across up to 1,100 homes during 2012. An estimated 2,500 people will ultimately take part in the measurement process.

The move follows a one year period that identified developments to improve its web TV software, and BARB anticipates further updates are likely to follow during the course of a staged rollout.

Television and online – Google developments 

Google is funding a multi-million-pound planning tool to help brands understand consumer behaviour across TV and online media. The internet giant is working with WPP-owned research firm Kantar to build a panel that will measure TV and online media habits from a single source.

Kantar is recruiting a 3,000-strong panel, representative of the UK population, with data and measurement analysis promised to the industry by 2013. The aim is to provide brands with a planning tool where they can benchmark the reach and footprint of a campaign that would run across TV and online. It aims to help them understand how leveraging spend between TV and the web can impact consumer interaction through a single source, rather than by fusing together two sets of data.

Google has discussed its initiative with all of the UK’s major trade bodies involved in media measurement including the IPA, the IAB, ISBA, BARB and UKOM. It will look at how its initiative will complement others, such as the IPA’s Touchpoints.

Television and online – UKOM developments 

In May 2011, the UK Online Measurement Company (UKOM) and Nielsen launched the first industry-backed online video metric, VideoCensus, allowing brands to directly compare web viewing with TV for the first time. VideoCensus aims to boost online video budgets by being directly comparable to the long-established TV planning tool BARB. It uses a hybrid online audience panel and technology-based methodology to show how web users engage with online video content, helping advertisers, agencies and publishers accurately measure online video audiences. 

comScore awarded UKOM contract in competitive pitch

UKOM - UK Online measurement - is the body co-owned by the IAB and AOP, on whose board ISBA and the IPA represent advertisers' and agencies' interests, respectively. UKOM is the industry standard providing online media measurement.

In April 2012 ComScore announced that it had become UKOM's preferred supplier for online audience research from January 2013 onwards.

ComScore already produces online audience data alongside the current UKOM in the marketplace and also runs the Mobile Media Metrics study with the GSMA.

For further information, members should contact Bob Wootton or David Ellison at ISBA.

Press - ABC

Founded by ISBA in 1932 and co-owned by all major industry stakeholders, ABC independently audits and reports on print media circulations and online media traffic, providing a fundamental trading currency for media buyers and owners across print, events, digital and evolving platforms.

There is an strong and understandable desire from publishers to issue combined print and digital data. ISBA (and IPA) recognise that most consumption will eventually be through digital channels and welcome the development of headline reports which highlight print and digital data on the same sheet.  However, we are   resisting the conflation of print and digital into a single inflated headline figure, as the two channels are as yet quite different media and advertising consumption experiences.  

Out of Home - Route

The OOH industry has been investing for several years in the development of a new measurement system using GPS technology under industry body POSTAR. 

Over six years, £15m has been invested by the main Outdoor media owners and specialist agencies.  The new research's sample will be in line with population, both geographically and demographically and will increase incrementally by 5,000 every year until a sample of 25,000 has been reached.  It will cover roadside and transport at first, but will extend quickly to embrace retail and other formats hitherto not covered. 

Radio - RAJAR

Digital developments have prompted changes at RAJAR, including taking part of the survey online. RAJAR hopes this will serve to improve respondent representation and achieve more detailed platform listening data. Respondents will continue to be canvassed door to door, but given the option to report their viewing online. 

As audio streaming is growing, RAJAR will be working with the industry to create standards in measurement and reporting for streaming statistics. Ipsos MORI Media Cell are working towards capturing encoded broadcast on smart phone and tablet devices. 

RAJAR’s CEO, Jerry Hill (JH), who presented to RAG members in May 2011, believes that the addition of an online diary will improve its demographic representation and the offer of an online version is expected to extend its appeal to people who might have been put off by having to fill out a paper diary. 

For the first three quarters, July to September and October to December 2011 and January to March 2012, the online diary will be used by one sixth, or 16.7%, of all respondents. Should the rollout prove successful, from Q2 half of all respondents will use the online version.

Direct Marketing

Direct Mail remains an essential tool for advertisers in business, charity and public sectors. Paying for self-regulation and underpinning sustainability are high on the agenda

Recent DM Issues

Carbon Measurement Scheme (CMS 2020) to succeed 'PAS 2020' Environmental standards

ISBA has consistently supported PAS 2020, the publicly available environmental standard aimed at encouraging the direct mail industry to take a responsible stance. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) decided to review PAS 2020, re-launching it as a private standard, renamed the Carbon Management Scheme (CMS) 2020. 

The DMA wishes to ensure that it fully supports the Government’s environmental goals, through the introduction of the new industry standard for the sustainable production and distribution of direct mail. The new private standard establishes a set of environmental objectives and commitments for our members and a series of auditable standards for participating suppliers. The new standard is fully backed by ISBA - we are encouraging our members to get involved in its Standards Committee. 
The new scheme will be introduced later this year. As an incentive to use the scheme, a discount off the price of postage will be offered by Royal Mail to companies using suppliers which have gained CMS 2020 accreditation.

Simplified call charges help consumers, but companies foot the bill

In December 2013, Ofcom published a final statement setting out changes to the regulation of non-geographic calls. Consumers use non-geographic numbers to call businesses, financial institutions, helplines and Government agencies, as well as to get information and to make payments for services. 

Following consultations with stakeholders and the European Commission, Ofcom has confirmed its decision that the 080 and 116 number ranges, which are generally free to call from landline telephones, will become free from consumers’ mobile phones too. 

Ofcom has decided that these changes will all be implemented on 26 June 2015. Ofcom has also published guidance on how it would be likely to assess what is a fair and reasonable wholesale charge for calls to 080 and 116 numbers, in the event of a dispute between providers. 


Sponsorship is still high on the agenda. Our policy group is working on issues such as ROI, Measurement, Activation and negotiation with Rights Holders

ISBA Sponsorship Model Contract

The previous ISBA Sponsorship Model Contract was published by ISBA and legal firm Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) in 2001. A number of members have consistently asked whether it can be updated. 

The Model Contract suggests Terms and Provisions for use in Sponsorship Agreements with Clubs, Teams and Individuals.

Members agreed that an updated Model Contract would be useful, especially for smaller companies that do not have access to an in-house legal team. It was also agreed that we should concentrate on sport, as it represents approximately 80% of sponsorship budgets. 

The new Contract incorporates digital developments, image rights and partner data.

Bribery Act

The Act has significant ramifications for advertisers engaged in sponsorship. We have held  a legal seminar for members and have issued expert guidance via solicitors Lewis Silkin, with whom we work closely on advertising matters. The government have also issued guidance : MOJ bribery-act-2010-guidance

The Bribery Act came into force on 1 July 2011. The first employee to be convicted under the Bribery Act 2010 has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Despite commentators suggesting that would be used to target big advertisers and lead to high profile prosecutions, the first custodial sentence has been given to a fairly junior worker in the justice system, who was of previously good character. His sentence for the bribery offence was three years and he also received a sentence of six years for misconduct in a public office, to be served concurrently.

ISBA members can find out more details here.