One of next year’s biggest consumer PR tasks is one step closer
following the award of the Channel 5 licence to Pearson-led consortium
Channel 5 Broadcasting last week.
The consortium faces a PR minefield in its bid to re-tune videos in up
to 10 million British homes next summer - a task for which it has set
aside a budget of pounds 55 million.
The re-tuning programme, dubbed by some as a ‘burglar’s charter’, is
expected to run hand in hand with a ‘do-it-yourself’ campaign aimed at
explaining to viewers how they may be able to re-tune their videos
If successful, do-it-yourself re-tuning could considerably reduce the
number of home visits ahead of its January 1997 launch, and slash the
high launch cost for the channel built into its business plan.
Roy Addison, director of communications for Pearson Television, which
led PR for the winning bid, played down the chances of any early
decisions on PR. He said: ‘Our staff have to await the appointment of a
chief executive. We have our own ideas about how to handle PR for the
launch. We are some way off being able to say what external requirements
there might be.’
However, agency sources suggest that Channel 5 will inevitably be forced
to hold its own auction among top consumer PR agencies to help tackle
the nationwide video retuning programme.