Planet Media - A speed-read guide to the major developments of the week

Independent News & Media, City AM, Candover, BBC, ITV Global Content, Channel 4, ITV, Philips, Google, Ofcom, Yahoo,, 3, Carat, Timberland, Aegis, TNS, AA


- INM defeats O'Brien

Independent News & Media's board won out against "dissident shareholder" Denis O'Brien in voting at last week's AGM. However, the tycoon secured protest votes of 37.4% against the re-election of various INM directors. A report circulated prior to the AGM, commissioned by O'Brien from corporate governance consultant Davis Global Advisors, had criticised the INM board for lacking independence from its chief executive, Anthony O'Reilly, to the detriment of the company's share price. INM said the report was "misleading, malicious and wholly inaccurate".

- City AM finally in black

CityAM made its first operating profit in the six-month period to March, raising the possibility of an eventual sale of the title. The London business freesheet earned £47,000 in the period, before interest and tax, on ad revenues of £3.5m. Revenues were 45% ahead year on year, compared to the period to March 2007, when the loss was £754,000.

- Candover bid ...?

Candover, the private equity company, is contemplating making an approach for Informa, after news broke that the Lloyd's List owner and United Business Media are in merger talks. A bid from Candover, the co-owner of Springer Science & Business Media, the German publishing group, would probably be made alongside Cinven, its partner in Springer.


- BBC extends archive

The BBC plans to create a web page for every programme ever broadcast, spanning 81 years of radio and TV history. The pages will include programme clips and links, eventually providing whole programmes for download through the seven-day iPlayer catch-up service or the commercial Kangaroo service.

- Beeb's regions miss out

BBC news and current affairs are too London-centric and do not reflect regional interests, according to a report commissioned by the BBC Trust. The BBC said it would provide the trust with a detailed action plan for "raising our game" in July.

- Bartlett gets Airey's job

ITV has appointed Lee Bartlett as managing director of ITV Global Content. He had headed the division on an interim basis following Dawn Airey's departure in April. Bartlett will be responsible for overseeing ITV's UK and international production and distribution businesses, including ITV Productions. He joined ITV Global Content as chief operating officer for the division at the start of April from Fox Broadcasting.

- Big Brother bully row

Channel 4's Big Brother was at the centre of a new bullying row, with hundreds of viewers complaining to Ofcom about verbal attacks made by a housemate on three others. Alexandra De Gale was seen screaming at Rebecca Shiner, Rachel Rice and Stephanie McMichael on last Tuesday night's C4 highlights edition. By 4pm on Thursday, Ofcom had received 433 complaints.

- ITV protects iTV mark

ITV is moving to prevent the use of "iTV" as a representative term for interactive television, according to online media news website Interactive TV Today. It says the broadcaster has requested that it amend its logo on the grounds that it is encroaching on its brand. A newsletter released by the site said that it had received informal reports of other companies being contacted about altering their branding to avoid infringing ITV's trademark.

- Philips launches 3-D TV

Philips has launched a 3-D TV set in London. Using a "lenticular" lens similar to the grooved plastic pictures that move when flexed, it will send different signals to each eye to trick your brain into seeing images floating in front of the screen. It will have a price tag in the region of £6,000 and Philips has given a timescale of four to five years before the sets are commonplace.


- Brin's $5m space mission

The co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin, has put down a $5m deposit for a flight in the Russian Soyuz space station. Brin becomes the fifth wealthy businessman to book a flight into orbit around the Earth.

- Government web standard

The Government has signalled its support for a common set of standards for internet content in response to worries about the impact of violent and sexual output on the web. The Government wants to see the same standards as those required for TV as the boundaries between the two media continue to blur. While TV is regulated by Ofcom's broadcasting code, there is no similar regulation for the internet. One idea is to impose requirements on sites such as YouTube to include warnings on clips that include sex, violence or bad language.

- Yahoo/Google ad deal

Yahoo has signed a joint advertising deal with Google, a move that might defend it from acquisitive approaches by Microsoft and a boardroom coup by corporate raider and Yahoo shareholder Carl Icahn, who wants to overturn the Yahoo board and replace it with one receptive to a sale to Microsoft. The agreement between the two firms will also enable Yahoo to share in Google advertising and could generate up to $450m (£231m) for the smaller firm in the partnership's first year.

- Money site ups print spend, one of Europe's largest spenders on Google search marketing, has decided to invest more of its media budget in newspapers to build the website's brand - an area that was "under-explored" by online businesses, according to chief executive Simon Nixon. He added that did not plan to increase its £18m annual spend on TV, but would increase search marketing spend from £35m last year to £50m this year.

- 3 wins O2 legal argument

Mobile operator 3 has won a four-year legal battle with O2 over the use of its bubbles branding in a TV campaign. O2 claimed 3 had infringed its bubble trademark in an ad that compared its tariffs. The European Court of Justice has ruled against O2, stating that the ad did not cause confusion between the two firms' services.


- Carat poaches MEC's McGee

Carat has poached Mediaedge:cia Interaction managing partner Charlie McGee to become managing director of Carat Digital. He replaces Henry Rowe, who left in April to launch a digital consultancy. MEC says it has no immediate plans to replace McGee.

- Timberland account switch

Timberland, the clothing and footwear brand, has appointed The7Stars and Naked Communications to handle its UK media planning and buying business. The account, which was previously handled by Initiative, will see the two agencies work on a press and events campaign to promote the brand in urban areas including London.

- Google seeks B2B marketer

Google is seeking a direct marketing agency for the first time to handle its UK business-to- business work. The internet giant has already started talking to a "closed list" of agencies. The company is seeking an agency that can provide advice and act quickly as Google's direct marketing requirements become more sophisticated.

- Aegis' Italian buy

Aegis has acquired MenCompany, the Italian media service provider, for an undisclosed price. MenCompany specialises in one-off events, roadshows and marketing.

- TNS opens up to WPP

Taylor Nelson Sofres is to open its books to WPP despite the market research group agreeing a merger with German company GfK. TNS has rejected two offers from WPP, the advertising and marketing group. It is thought that TNS is expecting WPP to increase its offer within days.

- AA leads health campaign

Advertisers and agencies are to team up with the Government on a health marketing campaign to raise awareness of health issues such as obesity, alcohol and exercise in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics. The initiative is being led by the Advertising Association.

NEWSMAKER - Andy Burnham, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

The culture secretary, Andy Burnham, has insisted US-style product placement will not be allowed in UK television programmes, torpedoing the hopes of commercial television companies for a relaxation of existing rules.

He said it could contaminate programmes and exacerbate the decline in trust in UK telev-ision after a series of scandals.

Addressing a DCMS think tank, comprising an audience of senior media figures, he said "there are some lines we should not cross - one of which is that you can buy the space between the program-mes on commercial channels, but not the space between those programmes".

Burnham is to consult the trade on the matter following European legislation that provides for a significant relaxation of existing rules to be introduced next year.


117,976 ... is the number of individual product placements across America's top 11 TV channels in the first three months of 2008.

Source: Nielsen Media Research


"This is a ringing endorsement of the policies pursued by the board of Independent News & Media - which is ranked one of the top media companies in the world."

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