BBC fights negative publicity with strategic brief

The BBC has briefed its three roster agencies to devise a strategic positioning that will help it win public affection.

The move comes as the BBC prepares for its charter review in 2007. It follows negative publicity for the broadcaster following the Andrew Gilligan affair and the subsequent departure of its director-general, Greg Dyke.

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, Fallon, DFGW, along with the BBC's in-house broadcast and production agency, have been instructed to come up with a strategic approach to allow the BBC to communicate its brand in a way that will force its critics to reconsider it.

Once these goals have been achieved, the BBC will decide whether to progress further and adapt the ideas for a creative campaign.

Like the much-vaunted "Perfect Day", the resulting ad would be used as a vehicle to endorse the diverse offering within the BBC stable.

However, the broadcaster came under fire when it first screened the controversial four-minute musical ad, created by Leagas Delaney in 1997, which starred celebrities including David Bowie and U2's Bono singing individual lines from the Lou Reed ballad.

Commercial radio and television companies accused the BBC of abusing its position as a public service broadcaster by advertising itself during primetime programming.

The current inter-roster initiative does not affect the existing advertising assignments or responsibilities that are held by the BBC's roster agencies.

Andy Duncan, the BBC's director of marketing communications and audiences, was unavailable for comment as Campaign went to press.