Agency Republic nets BBC World Service digital account

The BBC World Service has appointed Agency Republic to handle its pan-European digital creative advertising account after a seven-way pitch.

Agency Republic has been briefed to develop a digital campaign to launch the BBC's online news site to a European audience. The campaign will promote the diverse range of international news, analysis and information that is available in English 24 hours a day.

"This is the first time the BBC's highly successful international online site has been launched outside of the UK," Alan Booth, the controller of BBC World Service marketing, said.

BBC World Service broadcasts programmes around the world in 43 languages and is available on radio and online.

The digital pitch, which kicked off in June, has been run in line with a directive to ramp up the impact of the broadcast service through the use of modern technology.

Despite posting a record global weekly audience of 153 million in 2001, Europe has seen its audience decline from 16 million in 1998/1999 to 14 million in 2000/2001.

In company reports for 2001, the BBC World Service was granted an extra £64 million over three years to plough into extending key services such as new media.

A particular focus of the increase is to fund online development in key languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, Portugese and Hindi.

The BBC World Service is funded by a Parliamentary grant-in-aid, administered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.