BSkyB has named M&C Saatchi the lead agency on its pounds 20
million creative account, just one week after the agency lost its ITV
business to HHCL & Partners.
Mark Booth, Sky’s chief executive, said M&C Saatchi’s task would be to
help boost Sky’s subscription base to 70 per cent of UK homes, compared
with the current level of 25 per cent.
M&C Saatchi will work on a major TV campaign in what is being regarded
as a virtual relaunch by the cable and satellite broadcaster. Sky will,
however, also continue working with the Design Clinic, its agency of the
past four years.
Booth confirmed the budget and M&C Saatchi’s lead agency status but said
the areas of responsibility of the two roster shops were still to be
decided, adding that there were no plans to change its media-buying
arrangements, which are handled by Universal McCann.
M&C Saatchi saw off challenges from WCRS, McCann-Erickson and TBWA
Simons Palmer for the task of producing Sky’s first national terrestrial
TV campaign for three years.
’We want to re-invigorate the brand,’ Booth said. ’We want to add value
to the TV experience and M&C Saatchi can help us achieve that. What’s
more, the best way to sell TV is to use TV.’
The agency’s first work will appear in the second half of the year. It
will be aimed at encouraging dish sales and attracting those viewers who
are at present deterred by Sky’s subscription costs and the dominance of
sport in its schedules.
Moray MacLennan, the M&C Saatchi joint chief executive, said: ’We’re
honoured to be involved in what is the most exciting marketing project
in British TV.’
The win compensates for M&C Saatchi’s loss of the ITV business, which
has switched to HHCL as part of a planned overhaul of its marketing
strategy, backed by a budget of up to pounds 10 million (Campaign, last
It is understood Sky made an initial approach to M&C Saatchi at the end
of last year. The broadcaster was told the agency was under contract to
ITV until the end of the year, but that it would be glad to pitch if and
when the future of the ITV account was resolved. Its final presentation
to Sky took place last week.