Sky selects Ketchum for creation of super-brand

Broadcasting giant BSkyB has appointed Ketchum to handle its consumer PR as it tries to position itself as an entertainment super-brand and chases aggressive subscriber targets.

Ketchum walked away with the account, believed to be worth more than £200,000, after a final battle with one other agency, understood to be Henry’s House.

Other agencies on the original six-strong shortlist were Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Consolidated Communications, Hill & Knowlton and Borkowski PR.

‘Sky is looking to reappraise its brand as an entertainment rather than a utility company,’ said Sky director of publicity Adrian Lee, who will oversee the account with head of consumer PR Gabby Bennett.

The PR review coincided with the start of an aggressive subscription marketing drive in October, which included ads carrying the tagline: ‘What do you want to watch?’

Ketchum’s remit includes managing Sky’s consumer press office, but Lee said the agency will spend ‘a large proportion of its time creating PR ideas to shift consumer perceptions of the brand and support ads’.

On choosing Ketchum for the contract, Lee said he had been impressed by the agency’s ‘understanding of the brand and its creative capabilities’.

Sky has about 7.4 million subscribers. Chief executive James Murdoch has pledged that it will break the eight-million barrier by 2006, and is pushing for ten million subscribers by 2010.

Lee said driving subscriber take-up to meet the targets was ‘fundamental’ to the job that faces Ketchum. Three-year incumbent agency Cohn & Wolfe declined to repitch for the account, just one year after surviving a separate review.

Sky uses numerous PR agencies for different channels and programmes and Lee said there would be opportunities to farm out PR projects in the future.

Ketchum board director Annette Cremin heads an account team of five.

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