Sky to stop selling Red Button advertising

By Julian Clover
April 28, 2010 12.41 UK

Sky RemoteSky Media is to suspend the sale of Red Button advertising on the satellite platform after nine years. The sales house, which also represents MTV and Discovery, will play out the last commercials in June. First introduced nine years ago, the option allows advertisers to send brochures or samples to subscribers that give them permission to do so.

Head of future Jamie West told Broadband TV News there had been a steady decline in advertiser interest in the interactive option since 2007. “It is all about evolution, as we understand ITV and Virgin remain committed, but what we’re trying to do is evolve to offer more to advertisers.”

Options include the Green Button that offers advertisers the ability to give subscribers an extended version of their commercials, either played out from a carousel or downloaded to their PVR.

Targeted advertising is also available through the on demand Sky Player service, though this is unlikely to be introduced into linear channels until the second half of 2011. AdSmart uses information drawn from the customer profiles, such as a postcode or the TV package selected, in order to deliver better-targeted advertisements.

The first advertisement on the Red Button service was for Chicken Tonight, but it was cosmetics manufacturer Rimmel that became the poster girl for the technology with its 2002 campaign. The final advertisement is yet to be scheduled, but is likely to be drawn from existing clients that include Ford and Sandals Holidays.