P&G and Grey unit plan interactive digital debut

Procter & Gamble is to launch interactive advertising campaigns on UK digital TV through a new unit set up by its roster agency Grey.

Procter & Gamble is to launch interactive advertising campaigns on UK digital TV through a new unit set up by its roster agency Grey.

The unit, called Grey Interactive TV (Gi TV), is the first Grey division dedicated to advising advertisers on digital TV and its interactive possibilities. It is understood that P&G, which produces leading household products such as Fairy Liquid and Ariel, was a prime force behind setting up the division.

Last summer, P&G appointed Frederic Colas to the new post of European head of interactive marketing to look into this area.

P&G European interactive marketing manager Geoff Wade says: “We are looking into the ways we can interact with our consumers. We may well use this new agency in the future.”

Interactive TV launches in the UK this summer, when cable operators introduce digital services. These will be followed by Sky Digital’s interactive service, formerly called British Interactive Broadcasting, now rechristened Open. Interactive TV enables viewers to obtain details of products and order them through the TV set.

Gi TV will be headed by Chris Harrison, a director of interactive TV at Grey Interactive, the agency’s general Internet and new media division. He reports to the managing director of Grey Interactive UK, Brian Lee, and will begin hiring new business and account personnel next month.

Bookmaker Coral has placed a consultancy project with the unit. Grey is understood to have made presentations to P&G about the new unit’s capabilities.

Harrison says the unit will seek business opportunities from new clients and existing accounts, which include SmithKline Beecham, Mars and British American Tobacco.

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