Five agencies pitch for prime UKTV channels

UKTV, the digital television network, is reviewing the advertising business for three of its channels. Five undisclosed agencies have already been invited to pitch for the account.

The network is looking to appoint a roster of agencies to handle integrated advertising campaigns for the channels from the second quarter of the year.

The pitch, which is being handled by the AAR, will be overseen by UKTV head of brand Kerry Yates.

It is not clear whether Mother or Karmarma, the network’s last agencies of record, are involved in the pitch.

A UKTV spokeswoman says that it is looking for agencies to handle advertising for its flagship UKTV Gold channel, the female-skewed UKTV Style and either UKTV G2 or UKTV Food.

The spokeswoman adds that the appointments will be made on a project basis and that activity will be integrated, with the broadcaster looking to push its multi-platform positioning.

The network spent £2.1m in the 12 months to October 2006 on advertising across UKTV Gold, UKTV G2 and UKTV Style, according to Nielsen Media Research.

UKTV is looking to focus advertising on “exclusive” network programmes, such as Wogan Now & Then and Jim’ll Fix It Strikes Again.

The network, which launched in 1997 to air BBC repeats, now shows more than 50% non-BBC content. It is a joint venture between the corporation’s commercial arm BBC Worldwide and NTL content division Flextech Television. Its ten channels include UKTV Gold, UKTV History, UKTV Style, UKTV G2, UKTV Drama and UKTV Food.

The review does not affect the media account, which has been held by PHD for more than eight years. Red Bee Media, formerly BBC Broadcast, remains the incumbent on television promotions work.

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