British Interactive Broadcasting (BIB) is poised to appoint Ogilvy & Mather to its 40m brief to sell TV home shopping to the UK public.
BIB chief executive James Ackerman says: “We are looking to appoint O&M. The contracts have not yet been signed but we expect them to be. It shouldn’t take long.”
O&M fought off competition from Lowe Howard-Spink, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Bartle Bogle Hegarty to claim the account.
BIB will eventually run a hundred or more TV channels, providing a range of services including banking, holidays, shopping and online games.
BIB is owned by BT, BSkyB, Matsushita, and Midland Bank, which have agreed to put 265m into the company over the next five years.
The complex digital technology that runs the system has been dogged by delays. BIB was originally expected to launch a service this summer. Observers believe that BIB is likely to launch a limited service in autumn 1999.
A number of senior executives have come and gone in the 16 months since the company was set up. Peter Van Gelder was appointed in June 1997. He quit four months later when David Hilton came in over his head as chief executive last November. Hilton in turn was replaced by Ackerman in August this year.
Ackerman would not be drawn on the advertising strategy BIB will adopt.