IDS is first to launch spot ads for video-on-demand

Flextech sales house debuts 30-second spot ads for Sony Bravia on VOD.

IDS has become the first sales operation to launch 30-second spot advertising on a TV video-on-demand service.

The Flextech sales house is showing an ad for Sony Bravia, the high-definition television set, as part of its download service for the drama section of the NTL/Telewest VOD service, based around some of ITV's top shows.

The ad, booked by media agency OMD, has a potential audience of 1.3 million premium Telewest subscribers and is the first of its kind in the UK.

IDS is in talks with a number of other advertisers about monetising the VOD services for both Telewest and NTL customers, in advance of the rebrand of the merged cable entity under the Virgin Media umbrella.

Both Channel 4 and BT Vision also launched VOD services last week, but are yet to carry advertising. They are looking at how to make money from VOD content, as is ITV, which plans to launch a service in 2007.

The Telewest deal means Fallon's 30-second explosive paint ad for the Sony Bravia brand will be streamed when customers download drama content from Granada Productions, including the likes of Cracker, Cold Feet and Prime Suspect.

James Wildman, executive sales director at IDS, said: "The results of this ad potentially have huge implications. It is all about us looking for new business models, which is something all broadcasters are looking at, but we are leading the way."

Wildman said IDS was in close contact with cable operators in the US, where advertising around VOD services is at a more advanced stage than in the UK.

Channel 4 has announced plans to start offering advertising on its VOD service, which is available on cable, BT Vision and online, in April.

However, C4 was forced to pull ads from its online simulcasting services launched earlier this year, after the IPA raised fears that agencies would be sued by the performers in the ads over the issue of online rights. The rights issue is regarded as a major stumbling block for the widespread roll-out of advertising on new platforms, such as VOD and simulcasting, affecting all broadcasters.

Wildman added: "The campaign for Sony Bravia is a highly scaleable test, which is based around an area of VOD content containing very well-known, quality Granada shows."

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