BBC director of marketing pledges more transparency

Sharon Baylay responds to Marketing Week columnist Stuart Smith by spelling out vision of future.

Baylay: Aims to make the BBC a model of transparency

BBC chief marketer Sharon Baylay has publically outlined her vision of the corporation and the challenges it faces for the first time since her appointment.

Baylay, director of marketing, communications and audiences at the BBC, says: “What has struck me most in my first weeks is how much the organisation is changing. If you believed some of the stories written about the BBC you could be forgiven for thinking it was bloated, out of touch and drunk on public money. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

She acknowledges the levels of scrutiny under which the BBC operates. “We have committed to publishing a wide range of information including executive pay, expenses and spend on top talent, which will make us one of the most transparent and open public service organisations in Britain,” she says.

“Transparency is an essential part of building and maintaining trust in our brand, and as one of the country’s most trusted public institutions we take this matter very seriously.”

Baylay, previously general manager of Microsoft’s online services divisions, has spoken in a reply to a Marketing Week column by Stuart Smith. He concluded: “In a decade’s time I suspect the BBC will perform rather less well in brand surveys. The resources and self-confidence which produced one of the world’s leading websites and innovations such as the iPlayer will be as old hat as Lord Reith himself.”

She argues: “Stuart’s article suggested that there is a conflict between producing programmes that are high quality and those that are popular. I don’t believe that is the case – I’m proud that in the past year the vast majority of our output has delivered on both.”

Read the full response from Baylay at

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