BMP DDB's hold on the ONdigital business is in jeopardy following
news that the media owner is in talks with another agency about taking
on the pounds 27 million account.
Sources say that ONdigital is unhappy with BMP over its suggested plans
for the massive advertising campaign that is planned this summer when
the company rebrands as ITV Digital.
It is believed that ONdigital will either hand the account to the new
agency over the next few days or throw the account open to a competitive
ONdigital has recently announced that it is to launch a pay-TV channel
called ITV Sport in August, which will broadcast top sporting events
such as UEFA Champions League matches. BMP, Leagas Delaney and Mother
have all been invited to pitch for the account.
BMP won the ONdigital account launch in August 1998. However, none of
the senior management involved in BMP's appointment are still with the
media owner. Mark Sands, the brand's former director of brand marketing,
has since moved to The Guardian.
ONdigital is under pressure to boost its share of the digital television
market. Earlier this month it announced that its expected break-even
point and target audience of 1.7 million subscribers would not be
reached until some time between 2003 and 2004.
This figure is dwarfed by Sky Digital, which holds the largest slice of
the market, with more than five million subscribers, compared with
ONdigital's figure of more than one million.
Naked has recently been appointed by ONdigital to give advice on media
strategy and communications.
No-one from ONdigital or BMP was available for comment as Campaign went
Headliner, page 17.