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The first advert on UK Television.

The twenty second of September 1955 is an auspicious date for marketing and advertisers as it heralds the start of Independent Television or ITV for short. Prior to 1955 the only choice of channel on the TV was the BBC. ITV would be a groundbreaking new media outlet. It would also feature adverts in between programmes to fund it, unlike the BBC that relies on the licence fee. This new marketing scheme would certainly have needed a Marketing Strategy Consultant like to advise.

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ITV was, and still is, made up of several companies that produce output for each other. This was regionally based and still is to some degree. The controlling companies would face competition after a number of years.

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Guidelines were clear that there had to be definition between the show and the advert. The first to air was for Gibbs SR Toothpaste which featured a waterfall and the product in a block of Ice. In a feat of peak the BBC countered the launch of the station by killing off a major character in the Archers. The adverts became just as famous and popular as the shows creating such classics as the Panama Cigar ads, British Gas share’s offer and the saga of the Nescafe couple.

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