Granada hunts agency for £5m TV Net launch

Granada Broadband is seeking an ad agency to create a launch campaign for the PowerChannel television Internet service.

The campaign, to be rolled-out this October, is thought to be worth at least £5m. It will focus on the free distribution of up to 200,000 “Net-top boxes” in the first six months. These can be plugged into TVs to provide full Net access and e-mail.

Net-top boxes are supplied free in exchange for viewers filling in a monthly questionnaire, and the personal data is sold to market research companies. Net calls are charged at standard rates. PowerChannel – in which Granada took a £13.5m stake earlier this year – describes itself as primarily a market research tool.

The launch will be led by Granada Broadband marketing director Peter Nowlan.

Granada will be the Net service provider for the service, which will also incorporate its G-Wizz website. G-Wizz was launched earlier this year with a £4m ad campaign through BMP DDB, though Granada says it is no longer working with the agency and the ad campaign has finished.

Observers are predicting a “Net-top box” war between companies providing Net services over the TV. Sky is launching a Net browser to offer e-commerce and information across all its channels.

Other channels such as Net4 and QZero are also planning to launch. ONdigital, in which Granada owns a 50 per cent stake, will launch its own Web service ONnet, in direct competition with PowerChannel.

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