FEATURE9 June 2021

Struggle juggle: ITV, Loose Women and cultural relevance

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ITV explored the multifaceted experience of women in the UK to inform its Loose Women programme. By Katie McQuater.

struggle juggle

In 2018, the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (Barb) analysis for UK daytime panel show Loose Women showed that, while the programme was maintaining share, it was flat, against a backdrop of other shows experiencing year-on-year growth.

This led to broadcaster ITV questioning how it could future-proof the programme and ensure it remained culturally relevant for its predominantly female viewership.

Lucy Crotty, cultural insight and strategy lead at ITV, led a semiotics analysis followed by qualitative research, with the findings used to inform creative development, helping editors and producers make decisions about topics and panellists.

Real language

An initial trends and semiotics analysis explored the research question of what it meant to be a ‘modern woman today’. The research used the Jungian framework of female cultural archetypes and incorporated semiotics to identify potential challenges to that – for example, parenthood.

“If you look at the framework, something like ‘the caregiver’ feels so one-dimensional, ” says Crotty. “Whereas, when you start to analyse ...