Brand experts vital to TV, warns Elisabeth Murdoch

Managing director of Sky Networks Elisabeth Murdoch warned an audience of the British TV industry’s elite that in the digital age they mock media brand experts at their peril.

The 30-year-old daughter of Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, told the festival that creative quality in this new era of broadcasting had a crucial ally – the media brand.

She said: “It is still prevalent in the British TV industry to mock brand experts, dismissing their views as California-babble. But you cannot dismiss the success of brands like FHM, Nickelodeon and even QVC – they make distinct promises to their viewers and then fulfil them. In a world of boundless choice, brands are our beacons.”

Murdoch continued: “Evidence of our need for them is everywhere. In every other industry the most successful are those whose brands are confident and emotional. But surely this is the wrong speech? A Sky executive talking about content, creativity and context? Surely Sky is only motivated by dominating distribution? I’m the first to admit that we too have some way to go.”

With just one month before the launch of Sky Digital on October 1, Murdoch said digital TV meant the end of 50-year-old technological limits on broadcasting that would create a great “renaissance” for the industry.

She said that digital’s founding principles of choice, quality and value were now “not only accepted but expected by the British public”.

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