Media Lifeline: Dave

Dave, the brand consultancy, and Dave, 'the home of witty banter' on TV, battle through the courts.

March 2003: Dave (, currently placed fourth in a Google search, keyword Dave) is launched by a breakaway team (Robbie Laughton, Dan Bobby, Dan Rowe and Paul Shriever) from the brand consultancy Wolff Olins. The agency is founded on a fundamental conviction that conventional brand consultancies are slow, arrogant, full of pseudo-science and ineffectual. Robbie, Dan, Dan and Paul pledge to do things differently.

September 2007: Dave launches in a rebranding of the channel known up until this point as UKTV G2. Programming highlights remain the same - repeats of Top Gear and Have I Got News For You. An on-air campaign positions Dave as "the home of witty banter".

December 2008: The name Dave was selected not (as many suspected) in honour of the then UKTV chief executive, David Abraham, but because "everyone knows a bloke called Dave". But Dave's success exemplifies a surge in UKTV's fortunes inspired by Abraham - it becomes UKTV's leading brand in terms of audience delivery and revenue-generation, chalking up an additional £25 million year on year in 2008.

January 2011: Following a two-year investigation, the European Union rejects a trademark application by Dave (the TV channel) following an objection from Dave (the branding consultancy). Dave (the TV channel) is denied copyright use of the name in the advertising, broadcasting and TV production markets. But it does win a vitally important concession - it has exclusive permission to use the name on decorative fridge magnets.

February 2011: Undeterred, Dave (the TV channel) vows to appeal against the decision. A UKTV spokeswoman says: "UKTV has been operating Dave for more than four years and at no stage has there been any confusion between us and the brand consultancy Dave."

Fast forward ...

July 2011: With Dave (the branding consultancy) standing firm and Dave (the TV channel) having lost the last of its legal appeals, Dave (the TV channel) swallows its pride and changes its name. It plumps for Jeremy, not in honour of the Culture Secretary Hunt of that ilk; nor in speculation that everyone knows a Jeremy; but in recognition of the main engine of its ratings generation, the philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Clarkson.