On 5 October 1998, ITV introduced a new blue and yellow logo as its corporate branding, with the accompanying slogan “tv from the heart of life”. By this point, the various ITV franchises were now owned by four main parent companies – Granada Media Group/GMG (Granada, Tyne Tees, Border, Yorkshire, LWT), United News & Media/UNM (Anglia, Meridian, HTV), Carlton (Carlton London, Central, Westcountry), and SMG (Scottish, Grampian) – and two still-independent companies (UTV, Channel).
Almost a year later, corporate rebranding and standardisation of idents and presentation began by each parent company –
- 6 September 1999 – Carlton introduced its ‘star’ idents and presentation across all 3 of its stations, featuring a dual ITV branding underneath the ‘Carlton’ logo – effectively ending the ‘Central’ and ‘Westcountry’ brands
- 8 November 1999 – GMG and UNM introduced its ‘hearts’ idents across all 8 of its stations, giving prominence to the local station name and logo, but incorporating a dual ITV branding underneath. Border TV lost its ‘chopsticks’ logo after 38 years. Channel TV, whilst still independent, had already adopted a slightly modified hearts branding on 1 June 1999, and LWT once again re-worked what its parent company provided for it on 24 March 2000 by creaing the ‘videowall’ ident
- 28 February 2000 – SMG introduced its ‘boxed’ idents featuring pan-Scotland scenes ending in a standardised boxed word as the station logo – removing the Grampian saltire and Scottish thistle from its branding
- 28 July 2000 – GMG purchases all UNM franchises, however immediately sells HTV to Carlton due to competition rules – the ‘star’ package is introduced to Wales and the West of England from 2 July 2001, after initial fears of a ‘Carlton’ rebranding
ITV branding of promotional trailers was initially resisted in the UNM regions, as the ‘itv’ logo was rebadged with the local version and often revoiced. However as this era progressed the presence of corporate ITV presentation became more and more commonplace, signalling what was to come by October 2002.
With thanks to Benriggers, Deltic1976 and Transdiffusion for their contribution to this page.
In the GMG regions, various film sequences were used to depict the ‘heart’ logo forming in everyday situations, before the regional endboard formed up. These live action sequences became less used by 2001, with some stations (mainly GMG North stations) dropping the sequence and theme altogether – preferring to announce over an already-formed endboard.
Floor painting (Bodge It)
On the Beach
ITV Saturday Movie Frontcap
ITV Drama Premieres Sponsor
Ocotber 1998 – September 1999
Network promotions were now designed by the National Promotions Unit (NPU) and distributed across the network for transmission, notably with some stations rebranding them and continuing to produce their own trailers for local programming.
With thanks to Benriggers
September 1999 – September 2000
Saturday Main Event Promo