M&C Saatchi wins pounds 20m BSkyB task

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.

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

week).



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.