When talking to various people at Teddington, Harry Lock, who is responsible for the co-ordination and control of Studio Visits, was very surprised to discover that many of them thought that Television Advertising sold itself and they visualised hordes of people queueing outside Television House for the privilege of buying advertising space. The true situation is, of course, quite the reverse as Thames employ Sales Representatives who spend all their time chasing companies and agents and convincing them that Television Advertising is a worthwhile investment.
The ITA have recently announced that advertising revenue for all companies during June 1969 is down on June 1968 by £886,504 even before the present government levy of varying rates up to 47½% is deducted. Current Company policy is to conserve and not waste money. The sales functions at Teddington in no way contradict this policy. They fall into three main categories. (1) Advertisers or agents using our premises for Sales Conferences. (2) Entertaining people who may be of use to the Company. (3) Promoting Thames to advertising agencies by using slides and other visual aids accompanied by a commentary persuading them that the most profitable way of advertising is to spend money with Thames. These functions include an escorted tour of the Studios, which seems commonplace to us but is of immense interest to people outside Television.
The first example mentioned involves Thames in the provision of facilities and organising the function. The second requires organising and costs the Company a small amount of expenditure on refreshments but the possible return of attracting future clients completely justifies this. The third function is obviously more expensive and financed by our promotion budgets.
Our dealings with Qantas Airways is an excellent illustration of how we profit from these occasions. They held a reception for all the leading travel agencies on MV ‘Iris’ to celebrate the opening of their television advertising campaign with commercials featuring Warren (Alf Garnett) Mitchell. Organising this function resulted in us gaining the exclusive advertising contract, which is worth approximately £100,000 between July 1969 and February 1970.
On 30 July fourteen women connected with advertising in London and belonging to a club called Adwomen were entertained at Teddington. In the future any one of them could be in a position to influence advertising with Thames.
In conclusion it should be emphasized that our major source of income is commercials and anything which we can do to increase that revenue benefits us all.