BSkyB has shortlisted four agencies for a pounds 7 million TV
advertising push to promote dish sales as it bids to build new audiences
and add to a subscription base of 27 per cent of homes.
McCann-Erickson, M&C Saatchi, WCRS and one other agency have been
shortlisted to pitch for the TV-only brief. Sky’s creative agency of
record, the Design Clinic, will continue to work on radio, outdoor and
press campaigns alongside the creative consultancy, Branded. It is
understood that the decision to appoint an agency in addition to the
Design Clinic was taken because Sky wanted a shop with a strong TV
The review has been called by Mark Booth, Sky’s chief executive, and its
marketing director, Jim Hytner, who will leave the channel in April to
join Channel 5 as marketing director. The winning agency will be
appointed by mid-March with the TV work starting soon afterwards.
Sky is anxious to boost dish sales and introduce new consumers to the
channel, particularly in terms of its future plans for digital TV where
its existing customer base will become a target audience. It will be the
first time Sky has advertised on national terrestrial TV since 1995.
The television campaign will emphasise the low entry costs of Sky,
promoting the broadcaster’s basic package of more than 30 channels.
The Design Clinic has been used by Sky since its appointment by the
former marketing director, Philip Ley, in 1994. The agency had close
ties with Sky’s former chief executive, Sam Chisholm, and managed to
hold on to an account that had previously worked its way through a
number of creative agencies. However, there is industry speculation that
the whole account could be centralised into one agency when Hytner, who
has worked closely with the Design Clinic, leaves Sky for Channel 5.
Chisholm put sport and films at the heart of Sky’s programming, but
Booth is understood to be looking at broadening people’s perceptions of
the channels to try and boost penetration.