ONdigital hires marketing boss

ONdigital has appointed former Planet Hollywood marketer Guy Laurence as its first sales and marketing director.

Laurence will handle all aspects of brand development for the digital TV company, which has a 40m advertising budget. He will join ONdigital’s seven-strong senior management team and report to chief executive Stephen Grabiner. Director of brand marketing Marc Sands will report to Laurence.

Laurence was Planet Hollywood’s European executive vice-president of marketing until sales collapsed last winter, leading to an exodus of senior staff. Before that he filled the post of executive vice-president of international distribution and marketing for film business MGM, and was UK marketing director for multiplex chain United Cinemas International.

ONdigital, which launched in November last year, has so far signed up 110,000 subscribers to its services. This compares with its rival, BSkyB-owned Skydigital, which launched in October and has sales of about 450,000.

Laurence says: “The technology works, and there will be more enhan-

cements to come. What we are in now is a numbers game and we want to see significant subscriber gains.”

ONdigital handed its advertising account to BMP DDB last August after dropping Abbott Mead Vickers. BBDO.

The two parties were unable to agree on the creative direction of the campaign. None of the agency’s work has been shown to the public. The TV business was given to BMP, which came second in the original pitch.

Laurence does not envisage another agency change. He has not undertaken an advertising review in his last five jobs.

Media Analysis page 16

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