ITV picks BBH for £4m channel branding task

ITV has hired Bartle Bogle Hegarty to handle its £4 million

above-the-line account.

The appointment follows "informal" talks with BBH and the incumbent of

four-years on the business, HHCL & Partners. ITV's marketing and

commercial director, Jim Hytner, discussed views on the ITV brand with

both agencies.

BBH faces the task of building the ITV1 brand but ITV's head of

marketing, Jo Walker, who oversaw the agency review, said that the

agency will also look at the ITV family of channels including ITV2. Its

brief will not include the £27 million ITV Digital account held by


The review of the above-the-line advertising account follows the arrival

of Hytner in September. He took over from John Hardie, who quit to join

Walt Disney Television International

Walker said: "It's natural for a new head of marketing to come in and

re-evaluate agency relationships. BBH will work with us to build a new

brand proposition to lead on- and off-air advertising and look at all

areas of strategic marketing too."

ITV will try to build its brand as its ratings battle with BBC1


It has also suffered a considerable slump in ad revenue, estimated to be

15.4 per cent for 2001, according to the latest forecast from Zenith


Its scheduling has also caused concerns for advertisers. ITV was forced

to stop screening its The Premiership football programme in the 7pm

Saturday slot after it failed to attract a big enough audience share to

please the advertisers. ITV has also been criticised for its arrogant

attitude toward advertisers and it is understood only recently to have

introduced a formal system to inform media agencies of last-minute

changes to programming.

Walker said that ITV has no current plans to review its media account,

held by Starcom Motive.

The broadcaster unveiled its Christmas schedule yesterday, showing a

reliance on extended versions of shows such as Who Wants to be a


with a celebrity line-up and Coronation Street, followed by Christmas

specials of Stars in Their Eyes and You've Been Framed.

Hytner has been replaced at Channel 5 by David Pullan, MTV Networks'

former vice-president of marketing and digital channels.