Sky One holds talks with BMB about £4.5m account

LONDON - Sky One is in talks with Beattie McGuinness Bungay with a view to moving its £4.5m advertising account out of Wieden & Kennedy into the start-up.

The move, which will fuel rumours that BSkyB is planning to hold a wider review of the £60m Sky brand account currently held by HHCL United, comes just eight months after W&K won the account.

One of BMB's first wins after its launch in May this year was the creative and strategic planning business for Sky News, ahead of the £20m relaunch of the channel last week.

The BMB partner Trevor Beattie has a longstanding connection with the managing director of Sky Networks, Dawn Airey. The pair developed a close working relationship when Beattie was the chairman and creative director at TBWA\London and worked on the five account. Airey was the channel's director of programmes and chief executive at the time.

W&K won the creative account for BSkyB's flagship entertainment channel in February following a four-way pitch against Clemmow Hornby Inge, DDB London and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R.

The win saw W&K charged with creating a series of campaigns for key shows including 'Nip/Tuck', 'The Simpsons' and 'Weeds'.

Sky One faces tough competition in the multichannel market. In January this year, the channel was overtaken by ITV2 for the first time. The latest Barb figures record Sky One's market share as just 1.7% for September 2005, well behind ITV2's 2.4% share.

No one at BMB or Sky One was available for comment. The managing director of W&K, Neil Christie, said: "We are working on ongoing projects for new shows for Sky One. W&K is still on the account and we are presenting work for the winter schedule next week."

While HHCL remains the incumbent on the overall Sky brand business, there have been widespread rumours that the account will be put up for pitch following the news that the HHCL chief executive and lead account manager on the Sky business, Nick Howarth, is to move to Clemmow Hornby Inge as its group chief executive.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum.