Regulator 'out of touch' over advertising ruling, says ITV

ITV has rounded on the Competition Commission after losing the battle to remove its advertising "straitjacket," saying the regulator was "out of touch" and had failed to understand the media landscape.

The regulator refused to change its stance on the controversial Contract Rights Renewal (CRR) rules, despite ITV's entreaties. Yesterday's final decision strayed little from its provisional findings in September.

The commission said CRR was still needed to prevent the broadcaster from "exploiting" its "unrivalled ability to deliver large audiences" on its flagship channel ITV1. Diana Guy, the deputy chairwoman of the Competition Commission, said: "Despite all the changes in this market, no other channel or medium can come close to matching the size of audience that ITV regularly provides." In a swipe at ITV, the regulator said the channel had "overstated the cost and distortions imposed by CRR".

ITV hit back, saying the decision was "based on the misconception that the competitive environment is still very similar to that identified in the Competition Commission's 2003 report. This is not a view shared by those who understand the realities of today's media landscape".

Adam Crozier, ITV's newly installed chief executive, said: "Today's ruling is out of touch and damaging for the interests of creative Britain. UK media is over-regulated and this has to change if we value and want to sustain a vibrant independent broadcasting sector that can rival the BBC and compete on a global stage."

The group's share price actually rose yesterday, as the announcement was expected and investors hope the new administration will ease the regulatory burden on the group.

CRR was introduced in 2003, to protect advertisers and commercial rivals in the wake of the merger of Carlton and Granada to form ITV. The commission feared the market power held by the combined group could distort competition. The mechanism essentially means that advertisers automatically pay less if ITV's audience shrinks. The channel's audience share has fallen since since 2003 because of the proliferation of digital channels.

Ms Guy added: "The essential reason for the CRR undertakings remains: to protect advertisers and other commercial broadcasters from the enhanced market position created by the merger of Carlton and Granada."

ITV complained that CRR has had an impact on how much it could invest in programming, with £500m less spent on content between 2004 and 2008. It added that companies have been unable to sustain public service programming such as high-quality news and drama, and the restriction has "reduced the commercial sector's ability to compete with the BBC".

The company cannot appeal against the Commission's decision, and said the recourse to a judicial review was unlikely because the parameters were so narrow and technical. However, Ms Guy added "we have no wish to see CRR in place forever" and again called for a wider review of the whole system of selling TV advertising.

Mr Crozier said: "Today's decision fires the starting gun for a broader campaign for liberalisation to enable creative Britain and the enterprise media sector to compete on a level playing field against global competition in the digital age."

Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Mystery man: Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in '‘Gone Girl'
films... by the director David Fincher
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
stoptober... when the patch, gum and cold turkey had all faied
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Graduate Recruitment Consultant - 2013/14 Grads - No Exp Needed

£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Law Costs

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?