BBC Worldwide has appointed Leo Burnett to handle its pounds 30
million worldwide advertising account as it seeks to improve its
international commercial operations.
Leo Burnett beat Leagas Delaney in a head-to-head pitch to become BBC
Worldwide’s first advertising agency. The shop will now be responsible
for promoting the company’s global brands on an international basis.
This will include Teletubbies, Walking with Dinosaurs and Top of the
Pops as well as several other un-named projects. Saatchi & Saatchi is
also understood to have been approached about the brief.
Kevin Harrington, BBC Worldwide’s global marketing director, confirmed
the appointment and said the budget would run into ’many millions’.
The review was carried out by BBC Worldwide’s Global Marketing Brand
Development division (GMBD), which was set up in 1997 to co-ordinate the
activities of its divisions across advertising and sponsorship.
The appointment will involve advertising a variety of brands across a
range of media in overseas markets. This could extend to include the
BBC’s portfolio of interests in international television, international
publishing, the children’s sector, the sports, motoring and
entertainment group and lifestyle.
Leo Burnett will be expected to help BBC Worldwide reach its target of
quadrupling its revenues of pounds 200 million by 2006.
The corporation faces increased competition from more marketing-driven
companies such as Channel 4, which has stretched its brand into its
subscription film channel, FilmFour. The BBC is now producing
merchandising around properties such as the popular interior design
series Changing Rooms.
BBC Worldwide has several key developments in the pipeline. It is
negotiating with US broadcasters to make an American version of Top of
It is also awaiting Canadian regulatory approval for a new general
entertainment pay-TV channel, BBC Canada.