Desmond readies Five ad blitz

Northern and Shell Network, the publishing network owned by Richard Desmond, is preparing a multi-million pound advertising blitz to publicise its takeover of broadcaster Five.

Richard Desmond
Richard Desmond

The publishing group has booked space across all of its titles through its media agency MediaCom, and will begin publicising the ownership later this week.

Desmond signed a deal to acquire Five for £103.5m late on Friday (23 July) after closing a deal with the channel’s former owner RTL and its German parent company Bertelsmann.

Desmond is chairman of the Northern & Shell Network, which owns the Daily & Sunday Express, Daily & Sunday Star, OK! magazine, New! and Star magazine. He also runs a number of pay TV channels including adult station Television X.

The deal could be the subject of a House of Commons culture committee inquiry, due to potential conflicts of interest. Desmond will be barred from promoting his titles on Five under EU cross-promotion rules

Speculation suggests that Desmond will look to revive cheaper entertainment shows and reality shows and to draw on the celebrities who have agreements with his publications.

In its last financial results, Five’s advertising revenues had slumped by 12.5% in 2009.

This story first appeared on pitch

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