UKTV calls media review and takes creative in-house

UKTV is reviewing its estimated £15m media account and also bringing creative in-house by launching its own "full-service" agency.

Taskmaster: a ‘full-service’ agency will handle creative work for all UKTV shows
Taskmaster: a ‘full-service’ agency will handle creative work for all UKTV shows

The moves are part of a drive by UKTV to be more ambitious with its advertising after increasing its share of commercial viewing by more than a third since 2010 to 10% of the market.

The owner of channels including Dave, Drama and W will go on a hiring spree to recruit ten senior and junior-level creatives, print, social and motion designers, and campaign and design producers.

UKTV already has a creative arm – headed by creative director Scott Russell – that handles some production work but the launch of a "full-service" agency is a move that will draw comparisons with Channel 4’s 4Creative.

UKTV most recently worked with Joint but will now only use external agencies on an "occasional" or project basis. However, UKTV will extend its relationship with post-production house The Farm Group.

Rocket has overseen UKTV’s media since 2008 and will be invited to repitch. The review is led by ISBA and Ebiquity.

Zoe Clapp, chief marketing and communications officer at UKTV, said: "As our business grows, we also want our advertising to evolve in ambition. That’s why we’ve decided to design a bespoke, integrated creative and media service for UKTV and its brands.

"The major thing that will change is our capability to make all kinds of advertising and communications in-house, encompassing print, digital, out of home and AV [audio and video]."

UKTV's creative arm already has a 27-strong team and Clapp said turning it into an-inhouse agency is a logical step because "TV is such an incredibly fast-paced business, and you need to be agile, with creative really embedded in the programme-making process".

The broadcaster has been keen to invest in its brand after boosting spend on its own original shows to drive viewing.

UKTV’s move follows reports that Scripps Networks Interactive, a 50% shareholder, made several attempts to buy out co-owner BBC Worldwide.

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