Channel 4 hands £3m media strategy brief to Naked

LONDON - Naked Communications has won the media strategy account for Channel 4's E4 and FilmFour channels, dealing a blow to Michaelides & Bednash, which has worked on the brands since their launch.

M&B will continue to work on media strategy for Channel 4, but has been replaced by Naked on E4 and FilmFour after Polly Cochrane, Channel 4's director of marketing, who originally hired M&B in 1998, decided to talk to other agencies.

Naked will handle media strategy for E4 and FilmFour's £3m spend and will also work on a wider communications role for the brands. It will help develop the proposition of the channels, focusing on subscriber retention and acquisition for FilmFour and the positioning of E4. Channel 4's media buying, which is handed by OMD UK, is unaffected by the move.

The agency's appointment follows a recent improvement in fortunes for 4Ventures, the Channel 4 division that houses E4 and FilmFour. After a series of cutbacks, it reduced losses by 53% and increased turnover by 20% to £125.6m.

Naked's team will report to Rufus Radcliffe, the head of marketing at E4, and Lisa McHugh, the FilmFour head of marketing.

M&B's work for Channel 4 has included last year's "Indian Summer" activity to support the broadcaster's Test Match cricket coverage. Indian Summer won the Grand Prix at the Campaign Media Awards last November. The agency also developed media strategy for Channel 4 programming such as 'Sex and the City' and last year's Andy Warhol series.

John Harlow, Naked's managing partner, said: "Naked is proud to be working with innovators such as E4 and FilmFour. There is a great amount of professional and personal enthusiasm for the channels at the agency."

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