ITV Digital is reviewing its direct marketing business as it
attempts to win new subscribers in its battle with Sky.
The account, worth about £6 million when reviewed a year ago, is
expected to include customer acquisition and retention for both ITV
Digital and ITV Sport. However, the budget is expected to rise as ITV
Digital pushes its new services.
ITV Digital has asked five agencies to pitch for the account. The
incumbent, Blue, will go up against Black Hole, Craik Jones Watson
Mitchell Voelkel, Joshua and TBWA/GGT Direct.
Blue was launched last year by David May, formerly the client services
director at DP&A. The agency was appointed by ITV Digital, then known as
ONdigital, to launch new services as well as build its subscriber
Before Blue, ONdigital worked with Lowe Live for two years. Lowe Live
handled direct marketing for ONdigital from its launch and parted
company with the broadcaster when it had about 700,000 subscribers.
The direct review follows the recent rebranding of ONdigital as ITV
Digital, and the subsequent advertising campaign through Mother
featuring the knitted monkey. The review does not include Mother's
The pitch is being run by ITV Digital's sales and marketing director,
Jeremy Dale, and Gabrielle Simcocks, ITV Digital's director of
According to the latest figures released by ITV in July, ITV Digital had
1.1 million subscribers at the end of June. However, its annual churn
rate is 23 per cent, a figure it will expect the chosen direct marketing
agency to reduce.
ITV Digital has several new services to promote including pay-per-view
football, a games channel, interactive services and its marketing
partnership with BT.
It has recently invested £3 million in a customer call centre in
an effort to improve customer service.
Blue's work has included a mailing to increase market share in the
interactive television market, offering customers discounts on shopping
facilities and e-mail.
Simcocks was unavailable for comment as Campaign went to press.