A group of top UK advertisers has written to the Department of National
Heritage to express ‘serious and varied’ concerns about the launch of
The advertisers fear that Channel 5’s programme of retuning the nation’s
TV equipment could ‘severely jeopardise’ the good relationship that
exists between retailers and consumers.
The companies are also ‘deeply concerned over the lack of consultation
which has taken place’ with regard to the channel’s retuning efforts,
which are currently being supported by a nationwide poster campaign
through Saatchi and Saatchi.
The letter has been written by the British Retail Consortium, which
represents around 90 per cent of UK retailers, and is addressed to Lord
Inglewood, the National Heritage minister.
Argos, Cornhill Insurance, and Littlewoods are among the companies that
have put their names to the BRC letter.
The worry is that any problems with the retuning task could harm the
image of retailers who deal with people in their homes, such as home-
shopping services like Freemans. Brown goods retailers, which supply TV
equipment, could also experience severe problems, the letter suggests.
Retuning will involve 7,000 hastily trained ‘engineers’. According to
the letter, this could also result in retailers incurring unrecoverable
costs with the TV equipment they have supplied.
‘The prospect of other people’s engineers, with perhaps varying skill
levels, working on this equipment not only causes worry but may
invalidate guarantees and extended warranties,’ the letter claims,
adding that ‘the retailer’s involvement/liability has not been
A Channel 5 spokeswoman commented: ‘We have made every effort to contact
all organisations affected. We have never had an approach from the BRC.’