Never underestimate the conservatism of the UK ad industry: it is
likely to account for any dismay that greets Dave Buonaguidi’s
appointment as Channel 4’s in-house creative director. Producing channel
idents and programme promos would be infra dig for the majority of
It isn’t ’pure’ advertising, doesn’t win awards and, worst of all, it’s
likely to turn you into an adland outcast.
So it won’t be any surprise if the defection of the St Luke’s creative
director attracts some disdainful and misplaced comments from people who
ought to know better. In truth, Buonaguidi has a important job to
In a market set to explode with the digital revolution, Channel 4 has to
fight for share of audience at a time when total viewing time is in
Staying in touch with their target audiences has never been so important
for TV organisations, whose challenges are quite different from those
facing any consumer goods manufacturer.
Buonaguidi’s arrival must be seen as part of a wider plan by Channel 4
to market aggressively for audience share and advertisers’ money. Never
has it been more important for the station to have clear branding and to
speak with a consistent voice.
Channel 4 has already laid down its marker by snatching the rights to
Test cricket from under the BBC’s nose. David Brook, its director of
strategy and development, is credited in large measure with securing the
contract and is a sworn enemy of entrenched and conventional
He typifies a new breed of client who doesn’t want lofty conversations
with agency executive creative directors but would rather roll up their
sleeves with the department’s young turks. In future, these
relationships will grow in importance - and woe betide any agency that
fails to acknowledge the fact.