| LONDON, March 1
LONDON, March 1 British retailers, food
producers and consumer goods makers are cutting back on
advertising to direct their firepower instead at lowering prices
in the face of rising inflation, hitting the income of media
ITV, Britain's biggest free-to-air commercial
broadcaster, said on Wednesday ad revenue for the first four
months of 2017 would be down 6 percent after it reported its
first annual fall in a key revenue stream since 2009.
"If you look at the categories that's coming from,
predominantly it's food, and FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods)
and retail," ITV's Chief Executive Adam Crozier said.
"A lot of the marketing support there at the moment is going
into supporting price cuts given the levels of inflation that
are coming through in that market."
Inflationary pressures have been building in Britain since
the country voted to leave the European Union in June, causing
the value of the pound to plunge against the dollar.
Retailers have been reluctant to pass the increases on to
consumers, but there are signs that prices are starting to edge
up in stores.
According to the Confederation of British Industry in
February, retailers say they are raising their prices at the
fastest pace in almost six years.
The British Retail Consortium also said on Wednesday that
food prices rose in February for the first time since April last
year, up 0.4 percent on the year, compared with a fall of 0.8
percent in January.
Britain's biggest retailer Tesco said it was
spending less on advertising on TV.
Under the leadership of Chief Executive Dave Lewis, the
supermarket group had increased its investment in prices, to
draw in more customers, while reducing its investment in TV
advertising, a spokesman said.
He said that in the same period Tesco's price perception
amongst shoppers had improved.
Trinity Mirror, the publisher of the Daily Mirror
tabloid, said it too had been hit by weak demand from the retail
sector, driving overall print advertising revenue lower.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle and James Davey; Editing by Mark