Paramount Comedy hunts ad agency

Paramount Comedy, the digital satellite channel, has kicked off a search for an advertising agency.

The US comedy station has approached a number of shops through the AAR. It is looking for an agency to develop its brand identity and promote its schedule of programming in 2008.

The winning agency will create advertising for shows from Paramount 1 and Paramount 2, its two UK channels that specialise in successful US imports such as Scrubs, Frasier and Seinfeld. The campaigns are expected to run across media including TV, print, outdoor and online.

Chemistry meetings are scheduled to take place next week, after which agencies will be shortlisted. A final decision is due by mid-April.

Paramount Comedy's latest advertising push, which launched at the end of last month, was a teaser campaign to promote the forthcoming fifth season of US sitcom Two and a Half Men.

The campaign, developed by Brothers and Sisters, included television and print ads and a microsite. These used a fictional character called Big Bill McGill.

The channel's last formal relationship with an ad agency was with Farm, which won the business from TBWA in 2001.

The agency developed a number of television campaigns including a controversial 30-second spot in 2001 that ridiculed the "good day to bury bad news" strategy adopted by Stephen Byers' aide, Jo Moore. She became infamous when she made remarks to this effect in the wake of the 11 September attacks in the US. The endline of the ad directed viewers to learn the real art of spin by watching the Paramount show Spin City.