Pattison Horswell Durden is making a bold bid to move beyond traditional
media planning and buying and into TV programme-led communications with
the launch of its first subsidiary, PHD BigTime.
BigTime will be headed by Tess Alps, a partner in PHD and the agency’s
broadcast director. The PHD director, David Pattison, will be chairman
of the new company.
As BigTime’s managing director, Alps will concentrate on devising new
commercial opportunities for advertisers, such as advertiser-funded
programming and tailor-made sponsorships.
The creation of BigTime is a formal recognition of the direction PHD is
taking some of its clients. The agency worked with the ITV Network to
create a film package, ‘leading ladies’, for Lil-Lets to sponsor. It
also associated the Midland Bank with ITV’s Moving Story series and
Polaroid with Channel 4’s Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush. PHD is keen to
branch out into devising programmes that advertisers can co-fund or
Two clients have already signed up for BigTime - an unnamed fmcg
advertiser and Tempo Electrical stores, for which BigTime will be
developing a programme idea.
All ventures will work within the Independent Television Commission’s
codes on programme sponsorship.
Alps said: ‘We’ll be able to write programme formats suitable for
specific clients to get involved with, and then find the right
production company to make the programme and work with us to sell the
show to the broadcasters.’
She believes that, as the number of TV channels increases, there will be
more opportunity for advertisers to get involved in programme
associations and more reason for advertisers and broadcasters to work
closely together to capitalise on this.
‘Programme quality is coming under increasing pressure,’ Alps explained,
‘and it is genuinely in advertisers’ interests to maintain quality
standards. Advertiser-funded programming will be one way of doing this,
while also coping with ad clutter and allowing advertisers to give
something back to their customers.’