BNT TO REDUCE THE THRESHHOLD FOR ADVERTISING MEDIATORS
The management of the Bulgarian National Television (BNT) will change in 2003 the terms at which the mediating agencies buy advertising time for Channel 1, Kiril Gotsev, Director General of the state-run TV announced. He explained that the most tangible reduction will be that of the requirement for advertising agencies that are BTV's partners to guarantee it annual proceeds of at least BGN6MN in order to get the highest trade discount.In the beginning of the year we predicted that this amount would be attainable by a great number of ads mediators, Mr. Gotsev commented. But meanwhile that amount turned out unattainable for some of them. In the new Regulations for Advertising and Sponsorship, to be made public in December, our requirements shall be reduced. Analyses are presently made and we are not yet ready to announce the exact figure for the threshhold, but it will certainly not exceed BGN2MN, Mr. Gotsev specified. Last spring BNT's Marketing and Advertising Department approved the rating points as a main method for the sale of ads time of Channel 1. The idea of the former head of the department Assen Popov was approved and it was decided that the highest commissions would be paid to mediators, who guarantee to the TV annual proceeds of at least BGN6MN. Mr. Popov expected that this would put an end to the downward trend in BNT's proceeds from ads. After the introduction of the threshhold, he said for the BANKER weekly that it would stimulate the agencies to work for BNT.In October Mr. Popov resigned and BNT's report to the Finance Ministry showed that its proceeds from ads had decreased by about BGN8MN from the same period of 2001 (BGN11MN, down from BGN19MN in January - September).As of 2003 the BNT will also approve a lower threshhold for direct negotiating with those ordering ads, and it is presently BGN1.5MN.BNT's management has already held meetings with some of its biggest buyers of ads time, among them Danone, Omax Trading, Wrigley, etc. The aim was to understand how they would react to the new programme scheme of the TV, which we introduced in October, he added. All of them were mostly interested in the volume of advertising time that we would be able to offer next year. Regretfully, we cannot give them a precise answer right now. It is known that the draft for a new law on radio and TV allows BTV to sell five more minutes of ads, by which its duration becomes 25 minutes per 24 hours. If this idea becomes a fact, we'll have a somewhat different advertising policy than until now.During the week BNT's Executive Director Nidal Algafari announced that the state-run television intends to approach the Commission for the Protection of Competition regarding bTV's monopolistic position on the ads market. According to Mr. Algafari, the proposal has been made by NMSII's deputy Kiril Milchev and supported by Milena Milotinova, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Media. If there are suspicions for a monopoly position, the problem should be solved by a competent authority, Ms. Milotinova commented. Under the Protection of Competition Act, a monopoly position is to hold over 35% share on a certain market.