Christmas Comms Crackers #3: Channel 4's alternative message

Mike Morgan, CEO of The Red Consultancy, selects our third and final festive PR highlight.

Quentin Crisp: recorded the first Channel 4 alternative Christmas address in 1993
Quentin Crisp: recorded the first Channel 4 alternative Christmas address in 1993

This year marks 20 years of the Channel 4 alternative Christmas message – a Christmas campaign for a brand that doesn’t really do Christmas.

When its charter demands it produces content "… appealing to a culturally diverse society" and its rivals are fighting the festive ratings war with big budgets, Channel 4 could be forgiven for taking Christmas Day off.

But not only does it take Christmas head-on, it takes on the monarch on her own appointment to view day. The first in the series was archly delivered by Quentin Crisp as 'the alternative queen's message' - watch it here.

In the following years the satirical approach was replaced by more hard-hitting contributors such as Doreen Lawrence and a survivor of 9/11.

The last time Channel 4 used it to really stir the pot was booking the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2008.  

The fury it provoked in the broadcaster’s traditional enemies The Sun and The Mail was bang on brand.

In recent years it has tended to use the slot to reflect its own content, with a Paralympian extending the message of the alternative games in 2012.

Happy alternative Christmas!

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.

Former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers to join Warner Bros

Former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers to join Warner Bros

Warner Bros has appointed former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers as EVP for worldwide corporate communications and public affairs, effective September 2.