BBC backs new digital services with ad push

The BBC is to put £10 million behind advertising the launch

of its digital television and radio channels.

The ads will promote the BBC's channels, approved by the culture

secretary, Tessa Jowell, and also raise general awareness of digital


No firm decisions have been taken on which agencies will work on the

campaigns, expected to back the new channel launches early next


However, Fallon has been working on plans for BBC3, which was blocked by

Jowell, and Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters is looking at strategy for two

children's channels.

Last Thursday, Jowell backed BBC plans to launch two new children's TV

channels and BBC4, an arts and culture channel. She also gave the

go-ahead for the launch of five digital radio services. She blocked the

launch of BBC3 because she felt plans were not "truly distinctive".

Approval may yet be given for BBC3 if the corporation convinces the

Government that it offers a unique service. Andy Duncan, the director of

marketing at the BBC, said that it would definitely be submitting new

proposals for the channel later this year.

Duncan said the BBC would like to launch BBC3 at the same time as other

channels. "We think that a channel for young people is important and we

have no plans to launch anything else this side of Christmas," he


The £10 million advertising spend is planned for the period from

the date of the launch of the services, yet to be set, until next April

when new budgets kick in.

Duncan said: "This is the most exciting development in the BBC's recent

history. We face challenges because, from a consumer point of view,

there is some confusion about what we will be offering."

The BBC will allocate tasks across its creative roster of Fallon, DFGW

and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. The media account, held by PHD, was put up

for pitch last week.

- Perspective, p12.