Magazine article Marketing

Media Industry Reels over BBC Expansions

Magazine article Marketing

Media Industry Reels over BBC Expansions

Article excerpt

The BBC confirmed last week that Leagas Delaney has been handed the task of helping the Corporation "rebrand for the 21st century".

But critics of the BBC's recent conduct feel that any rebranding should involve a name change to the Big Business Corporation.

Their concern is that the BBC is getting too big for its business boots, expanding into areas where it has little right to be, treading on the toes of other media and competing for advertising cash with companies which don't have the safety net of the [pounds]1.6bn in licence fees it will receive this year.

The latest in a lengthening line of BBC business ventures - Top of the Pops magazine - was launched last week with a 200,000 print run. With the TV programme watched by a regular audience of around nine million, the spin-off magazine looks set to be a hit.

It will add to the coffers of BBC Worldwide - the new umbrella company which includes BBC Magazines ([pounds]96m sales last year) BBC Videos ([pounds]37m), and the two new satellite channels, BBC Prime (available for [pounds]70 a year subscription) and BBC World, which is carrying advertising. The BBC's various enterprises last year contributed more than [pounds]60m to BBC programming.

But along with its growing media interests, recent marketing of the BBC's terrestrial television interests have also angered some critics - most notably the link-ups between the Beeb and Mirror Group in the Jim Davidson-hosted Big Break and the Sunday Times's link with The Antiques Roadshow.

Mick Desmond, chief executive at TV sales house Laser, says: "We feel the BBC has breached our territory. It's a sponsorship deal once removed and advertisers are using these sort of links with the BBC to put campaigns together, which means we and others are losing business. Someone has to draw the line with the BBC somewhere."

The problem remains of where that line should be. …

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