’I’m Claire Beale and you’re watching Beale’s Backbite Broadcast
(BBB), my own masthead programme. BBB taps into the Beale brand,
bringing all my best bits from Campaign into glorious full-motion
colour, squashed into the further reaches of your digital TV dial,
nestling between the Poultry Forum Channel and Precision Toolmaker
BBB encapsulates the essence of Bealeness - witty, informative,
entertaining - and you don’t have to wait until Thursdays. Digital TV’s
just crying out for content, and exploiting a ready-made, sexy brand
like mine is an easy-peasy option. And I’m cheap.
So what if BBB spreads my creative juices a little thinly? What if
people will pretty soon cotton on to the fact that the photograph at the
top of my Backbite column is actually 15 years out of date and I’m not
quite the glamour puss I can pretend to be in print? Haven’t you heard
of vaseline? My fans will stick with me, tune in, spend a little of
their clients’ money advertising between my segments.
So what if BBB has none of the intimate pleasures of the printed version
- the more relaxed, consume-at-your-leisure experience, something you
can do in the bath, in bed, on the tube? BBB is tomorrow’s medium, and
if Zest, Company and Good Housekeeping are going masthead programming
crazy, then count me in.
But could it be that those magazines clamouring to be first at the
masthead altar are actually threatening the credentials of their brand?
Company magazine is reportedly talking to Live TV about a masthead deal,
but I’m not sure that many Company readers would thank their magazine
for the association.
Strong magazine brands should not drop their knickers for the first TV
suitor who comes their way.
So, on second thoughts, BBB is going to hold out until a better TV
environment presents itself. Perhaps a nice little slot between
Eurotrash and the Girlie Show.