It is RTÉ's general business practice to prevent products within the same category from appearing within the same break. This is not a contractual issue but rather a convention based on two principles:
Firstly, clients want their advertising to stand out and achieve cut-through within the commercial break. While this is more readily achieved with RTÉ due to its shorter breaks, it is enhanced by not having directly competing products present.
Secondly, RTÉ wants to optimise its airtime at all times in order to deliver the best available returns on its limited time, which it passes on to clients in the form of discounts. We can only achieve these efficiencies by ensuring the maximum number of efficient breaks are available for each campaign. This can be best achieved by clashing commercials at the product level. To do otherwise would result in greater difficulty in delivering campaigns and higher costs to our clients.
In this way, Coca Cola clashes with Pepsi but not with milk or coffee (even if it could be argued that they are all drinks and all could be substituted for each other). Similarly, biscuits or crisps do not clash with chocolate bars although all could be considered to be snacks. Nor could we clash at a client level even though many clients would see their competitors as being at odds with them on every occasion. For example, if we were to clash all Unilever products with those of Procter and Gamble, who both see each other as direct competition, we would never be able to deliver proper balanced campaigns. It is only by clashing at a competing product level, we can protect clients and deliver best value.
This policy can only be effective if, at the time of booking, we are given full information on exactly what the nature of the product being advertised is. Where this is not clearly knownn by the booking agency or not clearly communicated, we can take no responsibility for any resulting consequences. This is particularly true of the Telecommunications / Communications Sector, now one of our most competitive sectors, with many providers offering an array of products. This is only going to grow with new services being launched on an ongoing basis and advertisements attempting to cover an array of products. With the convergence of landline telephone with broadband, television, on-demand and perhaps mobile, this requires us to reiterate our policy regarding clashing:
We will consider providers that offer any bundle of two or more products to clash with similar providers advertising similar bundles. Similar providers are considered providers whose principle offering is the same. We will not however, consider for example, an advertisement mainly for a single product to clash with a bundle being offered by another provider. Thus an advertisement for a broadband product will not clash with a bundle of products.
For example a UPC bundle offer containing their television offering, broadband & home phone, would not clash with SKY Broadband containing purely a broadband message. Similarly advertising for mobile phones will not clash with bundles, or broadband or landline.
Our clash policy is in the interests of both clients and RTÉ, and is an essential part of the efficient management of the business overall and works best where full information is provided at the initial booking.
RTÉ is increasing the number of categories under which insurance products can be classified. Insurance Categories will be as follows:
Going forward, General Insurance will clash with Health, Motor, Home, Pet, Travel & Life Insurance. No other Categories will clash with each other. To ensure that this operates successfully, it is vital that RTÉ is supplied, at booking stage, with accurate information with regard to what product is being advertised, as per the list above. If inaccurate information is supplied, at booking stage, RTÉ reserves the right to amend the Clash Category.
RTÉ's policy on clashing is as follows:
1. It is a 'gentleman's' agreement' and not covered by legislation, code or contracts
2. Clashes should only take place at product level and not at Advertiser level
What this means is that in the Telecoms Sector – Broadband Clashes with Broadband, Mobile Phone with Mobile Phone and Landline with Landline. Clashes should not be at Brand level i.e. Vodafone Broadband clashing with Meteor Mobile Phone etc.
Going forward we will continue with the current policy of clashing at product level with the proviso that in the case of a mobile service provider the 'product' is the mobile service provided.
Handset manufacturers will continue to clash with each other and will not clash with mobile service providers, even if the mobile service provider is promoting handsets.
Where a client enters into different markets, the onus is on the client or the agent to inform RTÉ well in advance and make any requests in relation to their new product offering.
The policy applies to all product categories.
Thank you for your co-operation.