Magazine article Marketing

BBC's Marketing Muscle at Risk

Magazine article Marketing

BBC's Marketing Muscle at Risk

Article excerpt

A key legacy of Greg Dyke's time at the BBC is the change in its marketing department, which has moved from the periphery to the heart of strategy and programme-making.

When Dyke joined the BBC, marketing was headed by a broadcast executive, Matthew Bannister, with promotional activities dissipated among several departments.

Dyke hired a heavyweight marketer - Andy Duncan, lured from Unilever.

He gave Duncan a remit for all marketing and communications, a bigger budget and a lead role in launching and developing Freeview.

With so many BBC channels now on offer, Duncan says the marketing role has moved from just promoting specific programmes on air, to informing viewers so that they can connect to the right content, whatever the platform.

To assist in this, Dyke gave him pounds 20m to spend on one of the biggest poster campaigns in the UK, covering about 300 sites. In the process, he outbid Channel 4, which had been offered 70 of the sites for pounds 5m.

It is an illustration of the BBC's marketing muscle, something which rankles with rivals. Polly Cochrane, marketing director of Channel 4, questions whether the BBC's marketing budget is justifiable. …

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