The ITV1 name conjures up many words, and a lot of them are not overly flattering. Reports suggest that the broadcaster is to return to its former ITV branded roots early next year. But what has the internet been saying about it?

ITV1 was introduced in 2001 to the channel which at that time was about to ditched the much-loved and well respected regional brands such as Granada, Anglia, Central and Tyne Tees. At the time the revamp was explained in jargon as putting ITV in a “better position” as a “a multi-channel business”.

The last word in that statement is a word the channel comes in for a fair bit of flack for. Rather than a broadcaster it’s often seen to be an out of touch business that puts shareholders above viewers and quality below profits.

While the BBC rides on being renowned as a world class broadcaster, ITV1 is described as a lowbrow, trashy and a dumbed down network – although it isn’t clear why ITV1 is apparently gearing up for another step backwards, but it is clear that as usual a lot of time is being spent on image over substance by the company.

 “These changes are not just a paint job,” an insider told Broadcast, adding, “This is a big undertaking and will have a sense of scale. It is aimed at ensuring viewers attribute our content to the ITV brand.”

Rufus Radcliffe, who formerly gave Channel 4 its most recent brand identity, is leading the new-look ITV without its one. The current ITV1 logo was introduced in 2006, the first ITV1 graphic was a reworking of the 1998 introduced logo.

“ITV1 is the bread and butter, the mothership, and it needs to be bold. The brand will totally change and reflect British culture.” Another ITV source told Broadcast.

Facebook posters have mused over the pending changes.

“They shot themselves in the foot” said James, adding “They should have done a ‘best of both’ with the main network renaming the regions ITV Central, ITV London ect so the loyalty remained and the much wanted single brand was also there.”

Jason said “well any ident has to be better than the current ones they are dreadful but an ident with a local theme region by region would be nice eg itv westcountry itv london and itv london weekend.”

“I don’t understand why they would push back the rebranding from autumn till January just to avoid clashing with some crap Simon Cowell programme. Surely introducing the new brand would be best done during a big well known programme.” Said Philip.

Curtis said, “Now if only they could get better shows and have the regional branding…”

While on TV Forum Mr Kite believes that the new look ITV may just “retain the tradition that each new ITV logo must be worse than the previous.”

While ELM 2011 said, “Personally think it’s a bad move- I’m 20 myself and most of my friends actually say ‘ITV1’ not ITV and were all a bit to young to remember ‘Tyne Tees’ so since I was 10 it’s been known as ITV1 so I usually refer to put ITV1 on not just ITV.”

“This makes me hopeful that the rebrand will actually be quite good. We all know Channel 4 has the best TV branding out there, E4 and More4 included. Looking forward to seeing what they will come up with.” Said VMPhil.

Joshua notes, “I think this is a great decision, most people I know still refer to it as ‘ITV’ anyway, and I think people will understand if a continuity announcer says, for instance ‘Catch all the latest with The Xtra Factor on ITV2 now, next on ITV its Downton Abbey’ …viewers will know that ITV is the ‘main’ channel, they aren’t stupid.”

“ITVplc seem to take one step forward and three steps back with every decision they make regarding their brand identity. No wonder the public are lost as to who and what they are trying to be.” Said Stuart, adding, “ITVplc abolished regional names a decade ago: that damaged their reputation and annoyed the public as they felt they had lost something. Since then ITV have tried two or three attempts to establish a national identity (for England & Wales). I actually thought it was working: I was repeatedly told in promos that they had 4 channels (although ITV2 didn’t fit – but not aimed at me). ITV1 fits with that concept, a channel called ITV doesn’t.”

Martin said of the change, “I don’t get quite why ITV have decided to dump the 1 from it’s branding, yet it’s not as radical as bringing back regional brand names for the regions.”

“If true I think it makes perfect sense. ITV1 never really took off as a brand, proven by the fact that 11 years on people still call the channel by it’s old name.”  Added Ant.

While Vuze concludes. “’ITV’ just sounds more confident, more self-assured and a carries a bit more gravitas not to mention most people still refer to the flagship channel as ‘ITV’ rather than ‘ITV1’.” adding, “The ‘ITV1’ brand seems to have diluted the main channel and I think there’s a perception amongst people that it is ‘tacky’ and ‘cheap’ and that will always be difficult to get away from. I appreciate people have a point in terms of cross-promotion but there are always ways around that, and maybe we should credit viewers with some intelligence in that respect.”

ITV1 is the national brand for England and Wales created by Carlton and Granada in 2001, they merged into ITVplc in 2003 dropping the regional names from across the network. STV in Scotland and UTV in Northern Ireland, as independent ITV franchises, have never used the ITV1 branding.

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