David Brook, the director of strategy and development at Channel 4,
has taken the surprise step of dropping the channel’s incumbent of 16
years, BMP4, and asking Britain’s foremost film promotions company to be
the lead supplier of its advertising.
Brook has hired the Creative Partnership, best known for its on- and
off-screen work for movies such as Trainspotting, Reservoir Dogs, 12
Monkeys and Tomorrow Never Dies. The company is responsible for
everything from trailers to posters.
The Creative Partnership will be just one of a group of marketing
services companies - not necessarily agencies - that Brook plans to
employ in a set-up redolent of the virtual agency approach he adopted in
his previous job as marketing director of Channel 5.
Brook has no plans to review media buying, which resides with BMP
He is expected to make further appointments in the weeks ahead.
Brook stressed the importance of seeking a ’totally integrated’
communications solution. Channel 4, having lost its right to free
cross-promotion on ITV, now has to concentrate as much on its own on-air
presence as it did its off-air advertising, he said.
Last year, Channel 4 spent just over pounds 3 million off-air through
BMP4, a budget that will be significantly increased. The Creative
Partnership will work together with a Channel 4 in-house team to create
integrated on- and off-air marketing.
Brook was anxious not to criticise BMP4, which has worked for Channel 4
since the channel’s launch in 1982. However, there was implied criticism
of ad agencies’ blanket approach to client problems in his comments.
’We’re finding that traditional advertising solutions are a barrier to
presenting the inherent strengths we have to offer,’ Brook said. ’Our
product is genuinely interesting and distinctive in its own right. We’re
an entertainment provider, not a can of baked beans. The skills required
Channel 4 recently announced plans for its own Film Four channel to be
available on digital satellite and analogue channels. Plans for Channel
4 Digital and a digital racing channel are also in the pipeline.