UK film industry to launch Cinema Marketing Agency

The film industry has launched a company dedicated to the promotion

of cinema-going in the UK as part of a drive to boost low audience

figures.



Cinema bodies The Film Council and All Industry Marketing for Cinema

(AIM) have joined forces to jointly fund the venture, called the Cinema

Marketing Agency (CMA).



The venture is due to open for business next month, with a remit to

develop PR and marketing initiatives to increase audience numbers and

secure sponsors for UK cinema.



Film Council and AIM bosses are currently on the hunt for a marketing

and development director to head the outfit in time for next month's

launch.



The CMA is chaired by Peter Dobson, the newly-elected chairman of AIM

and current director of international film at Warner Village.



At AIM, Dobson replaces ten-year incumbent John Mahony, who has

retired.



'Although admissions continue to rise, the UK cinema industry faces

competition and visits per capita remain lower than in the US and other

English-speaking territories,' said Dobson.



'We believe the CMA is a fresh solution to our perennial concern of how

to increase and broaden the audience, and that it will be a catalyst for

innovation in publicising today's cinema experience,' he added.



On the CMA's task, AIM secretary Mark Batey added: 'The raw materials we

work with are second to none, but the challenge, in which PR will play a

large part, is to persuade the UK audience to go to the cinema more.



The CMA will be working on the whole media profile of cinema, promoting

the saliency of cinema and getting it high up on people's agendas.'



Batey said while they were recruiting for someone to head the company,

they would be keeping the CMA team small to reduce overheads.



AIM was launched to promote cinema-going in 1984 - the UK's lowest point

for admissions.



Since then, admissions have trebled from an all-time low of 54 million

to 142.5 million in 2000, although on average each person in the UK only

goes to the cinema two to three times a year.



Forecasts suggest a further rise to 148 million in 2001 - a figure the

CMA is hoping to increase.



The Film Council was launched last year to promote film culture and

develop a sustainable film industry in the UK.



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