The BBC is to create a roster of digital agencies to work on online advertising to promote its websites, particularly its foreign language sites, operated by the World Service.
Earlier this year, the World Service ran a pan-European campaign targeting Russian Web users. Last month, it followed this campaign with a second, aimed at promoting its online news service to North American users (including Spanish speakers). These campaigns were handled by Agency Republic, which won both tasks after competitive pitches.
The BBC operates international websites in 43 languages, which attract some 280 million page impressions a month. These include bbcnews.com, bbcmundo.com (in Spanish) and bbcrussian.com.
Because the BBC is a public body, it will go through a tender process. The call for tenders comes as the BBC announces that it will be making further cuts to its estimated 25,000 websites, in response to criticisms in the Graf review of its online and digital services (MW July 8).
A number of sites have already been closed. Further cuts, to take place by Christmas, will take the total cuts to bbc.co.uk to about ten per cent of the online content budget. Estimates of the amount the BBC spends on its websites vary from about £50m to £120m.