CAMPAIGN-I: MTV Networks begins review of VH1 website

MTV Networks is to overhaul the website for its VH1 brand and has

put the digital task out to pitch in the UK.



MTV is planning to appoint an agency in the next three weeks, ahead of a

relaunch of the new VH1 website in October. The seven agencies pitching

for the account are Digit, Icon MediaLab, Black ID, Proxicom. Navy Blue,

Channel A and NMD.



Following the success of its integration of new media with programming

on MTV, MTV Networks plans to make the VH1 website a fully integrated

part of the channel rather than just a promotional tool. The site,

originally designed by the Manchester-based agency NMD and launched in

September 1999, has a slightly older target audience than MTV. It

currently carries listings for the channel but has no other interactive

features.



Chris Sice, the managing director of MTVi, said: "VH1 is one of those

sites that was built a while ago and serves a purpose, but doesn't make

the most of the web at all. We want to start producing more interactive

features, like Video Clash and Daily Chart Live on MTV, which allow

users to interact using mobile phones and the internet.



"It's really exciting because it won't be just a website - it will be

part of a totally integrated service.



"Digital is really starting to work for MTV - we focused on that channel

first because it is the daddy of the brands. We have some valuable

lessons we have learnt from the brand's development that we can apply to

the VH1 site," Sice added.



Digit is already an incumbent agency of MTV Networks, and created the

website for MTV2, which was nominated for a D&AD this year. The site has

won a number of creative accolades for the new-media design agency,

including Best Interface Design at BAFTA 2000 and Best TV/Film/ Video

Graphics and Best of Show in the Design Week Awards 2001.