AMV poised to win BDB 15m launch campaign

British Digital Broadcasting is strongly tipped to appoint Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO to the 15m-plus launch of its digital terrestrial TV service.

The pitch was between AMV, Lowe Howard-Spink and BMP DDB, alongside their respective media agencies New PhD, Western International Media and BMP Optimum. However, BDB refuses to confirm or deny AMV’s appointment.

The Carlton/Granada joint venture service is scheduled to launch late next year, although it has not yet been officially awarded its broadcasting licence and industry sources suggest the launch could be delayed until early 1999. It will offer up to 40 channels.

It now seems likely that the set-top boxes needed to decode the signal for BDB channels will not be able to receive digital satellite signals. The boxes will be subsidised by BDB and are expected to retail for about 200.

BDB has yet to appoint a chief executive or a marketing director. BDB operations director Nigel Walmsley says the appointment should be announced before Christmas.

The Government is mooting radical steps to boost the introduction of digital terrestrial television, including the switching off of analogue broadcasts in less than five years.

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