Leading media agency Zenith has slammed ITV's autumn programme strategy and called for ITV Digital to be 'sold or dismantled'.

The barbed comments come in the agency's quarterly round-up of programming, Zenith

Leading media agency Zenith has slammed ITV's autumn programme strategy and called for ITV Digital to be 'sold or dismantled'.

The barbed comments come in the agency's quarterly round-up of programming, Zenith on TV.

The agency claimed journalists appeared to be a higher priority for the ITV network than agencies or advertisers. It said: 'The network is the least communicative of the commercial broadcasters over the last two or three years.'

It also claimed: 'ITV holds lofty management meetings couched in management cliche and jargon but is getting more and more secretive about the actual programmes.'

Zenith said it was bemused by ITV's plan to deliver a 'digitally focused schedule'. 'Nope, sorry, lost us again,' the report quipped.

The comments came as ITV recorded a share of 28.9 per cent for the first half of the year, down from 30.4 per cent for the previous year. The network is also facing advertising revenue down 15 per cent on last year.

Zenith Media described ITV Digital as 'the elephant in the room' and claimed its breakeven target of 1.7 million subscribers by 2004 was a 'fantasy'.

Zenith questioned ITV Digital's positioning as a pay-TV platform claiming viewers who wanted those services already chose Sky Digital.

In the report, the agency also picked holes in ITV's programming strategy for the autumn. It said ITV's factual push was 'largely in its imagination' and that entertainment events like Soapstars were 'mediocre'.