Al Jazeera International appoints Brown Lloyd James global AOR

NEW YORK: Brown Lloyd James (BLJ) has been named global AOR for Al Jazeera International, the 24-hour English-language channel that plans to launch in early 2006.

NEW YORK: Brown Lloyd James (BLJ) has been named global AOR for Al Jazeera International, the 24-hour English-language channel that plans to launch in early 2006.

In an e-mail, Lindsey Oliver, commercial director for Al Jazeera International, said BLJ would help build awareness for the channel's launch among its key audiences and stakeholders.

The campaign will be media-relations based, with outreach to industry trades, as well as national outlets around the globe, said Mike Holtzman, EVP and partner at BLJ.

Because the channel is still in development, gathering talent and determining programming, a big part of the messaging will revolve around the channel's viability, he added. Of particular importance are its technological attributes, such as its all-digital capabilities.

"Those are the kind of things that will facilitate the channel's commercial objectives," he said.

He added that the agency might also plan events targeted at consumers. One possibility is to hold screenings of Control Room, a recent documentary about the inner workings of Al Jazeera. Another, he said, is to invite Al Jazeera executives to speak with audiences to "demystify" the channel.

"The channel must establish its identity quickly because there are complex feelings toward the Arabic channel," he said.

Holtzman acknowledged that the current climate does present some challenges to the launch.

"This is a channel that's aiming to launch in a rather complicated political and commercial marketplace," he said. "It's a challenge, [but] not an insurmountable one."

Based in Doha, Qatar, the channel will be supported by more than 40 news bureaus worldwide. Its editorial content will be separate from its sister station, but will nonetheless offer a Middle Eastern perspective on global events.

Holtzman said a team of nine people would be working on the account in the agency's New York and Washington offices, with five additional people in London.

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