Sugar: TV advertisers face challenge in embracing digital content delivery

Editor | 19-10-2012

The days of viewers “simply watching” TV adverts are in the past, but advertisers have a big challenge in delivering digital content in a way that will engage consumers, UK business giant Alan Sugar has warned.

Addressing an event held by Amscreen, the digital outdoor company than he owns and made up of leading UK advertisers including Barclays, Nestle and Ford, Lord Sugar emphasised how powerful a role technology now plays in helping advertisers to reach their target audiences through means other than the television set. He said that as traditional ad revenues continue to struggle, other advertising channels such as digital out of home are flourishing. Indeed according to Amscreen’s own figures, global digital-out-of-home revenues increased by 15.3% to $6.97 billion in 2011.

Yet the man who was parachuted to the YouView consortium to ensure its delivery before the London Olympics added that “impressive technology” was giving advertisers more opportunities than ever before. “With new technology comes new opportunity and I firmly believe that Amscreen and YouView are going to feature big in advertisers’ futures, and it was a pleasure to talk directly to them about the very specific benefits that these channels will afford them,” he said,.

Referring to the subscription free on demand over the top (OTT) service, Sugar described its current format as “the bare bones of a revolution in TV” and imagined a future in which consumers had access to “infinite” channels and providers could set up their own channels for as little as £50,000.

“The advent of the internet has been the biggest game changer for advertisers, but one of the things I try to get across is that before you get carried away with all the impressive technology there is out there, you have to ask yourself is this going to be profitable. There are some platforms, like Google and Amazon, where they are fantastically successful; but for others like Facebook monetisation is less obvious,” he cautioned.