Thinkbox, the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, has gained two new high-profile members. European entertainment network the RTL Group and quad-play operator Virgin Media have joined the organisation as Associate Members.
RTL Group and Virgin Media are Thinkbox’s first Associate Members, which entails consultation and involvement across Thinkbox activities and with Thinkbox’s working groups. Full shareholder status is currently reserved for TV broadcasters and their sales representatives.
Tess Alps, Thinkbox’s Chief Executive, said the body was grateful for the acknowledgement of the work it was doing and the desire of RTL and Virgin Media to help Thinkbox do more to explain the commercial opportunities in TV’s rapidly developing future, be that TV on-demand, addressable advertising or product placement.
Oliver Herrgesell, RTL Group’s Executive Vice President Corporate Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing, said the group had always believed in the fundamental strength of commercial, advertising-funded TV.
Mark Brandon, Commercial Director, VMDS for Virgin Media, suggested that the TV advertising value chain was evolving fast, with next-generation TV platforms such as Virgin Media playing an increasingly prominent role in this evolution.
Thinkbox’s shareholders are Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media, Turner Media Innovations and UKTV. Thinkbox represents over 90 per cent of the commercial TV market in the UK through its shareholders’ owned and partner channels.