Digital agencies to pitch for BBC World Service account

LONDON - The BBC World Service has shortlisted an undisclosed number of digital agencies to pitch for a pan-European creative and design account.

In requesting information from agencies, the BBC World Service stated that it was seeking an agency with a European network or one that had the capability to develop work centrally and roll it out across the continent.

The digital pitch comes as part of a directive to ramp up the impact of the broadcast service, which provides international news, analysis and information in English and 42 other languages, through the use of modern technology.

In company reports for 2001, the service claimed an uplift of 62% in traffic to its websites by consumers either seeking additional information on broadcast programmes or listening to the radio directly via the internet.

As part of a spending review in 2000, the BBC World Service was granted an extra £64m 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, Portuguese and Hindi.

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

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

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