Branded lands brief for Top Up TV launch

Top Up TV has contracted out the marketing of its pay-TV service, expected to be launched next month, to agency Branded.

The pay-TV operator, founded by former BSkyB executives David Chance and Ian West, plans to offer up to ten channels, including UKTV Gold, for a no-ties monthly subscription of £7.99, plus a £20 one-off connection fee on the digital terrestrial television (DTT) platform.

Branded will handle all Top Up TV’s branding, advertising, marketing and communications.

Top Up TV hopes to ride on the success of the BBC-backed Freeview, which is available free to those who have bought a DTT set-top box. Some industry observers have expressed concern that Top Up TV’s service will confuse viewers.

Top Up TV has lodged a complaint with Ofcom against the BBC, claiming that it is being prevented from placing its pay channels between the channels available on Freeview’s electronic programme guide. It says that if the pay channels are pushed to the bottom of the guide, behind the digital radio channels, this will prevent viewers from discovering them and subscribing.

The BBC wants research to be carried out to gauge consumer reaction to having the pay channels mixed in with the free channels before a decision is made on where they should be listed.

A spokeswoman says: “We are proposing that we need to have research on this to make sure that Top Up TV’s proposals will not confuse consumers.”Top Up TV is delaying its marketing plans by a week while the dispute is being dealt with.

Last week, in a story headlined “UKTV to launch new channels”, we used an incorrect logo for UKTV. The correct logo is printed above. Media Analysis, page 15

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