ITV is investing in a PR push to increase brand awareness of ‘Britain’s
most popular button’ in preparation for January’s launch of Channel 5.
Lynne Franks PR was selected by ITV marketing committee chairman Barry
Cox last week after taking part in a pitch against Freud Communications.
The PR campaign, worth around pounds 50,000 in fees, has been agreed for
an initial three months although the contract is likely to extend into
Lynne Frank’s brief is to create proactive PR campaigns to fit with M&C
Saatchi’s pounds 5 million advertising drive for ITV which uses the
catchline ‘Britain’s most popular button’.
Agency deputy managing director Julian Henry will attend weekly meetings
at ITV with the channel’s bosses and M&C Saatchi CEO Nick Hurrell, to
discuss brand strategy.
Like the advertising, the PR effort will focus on pushing ITV’s quality
programming to reach a broad consumer audience, likely to be attracted
to Channel 5’s mainstream offerings.
For example ITV is keen to flag its Formula 1 racing coverage and
quality drama such as Moll Flanders - to be screened later this year.
Lynne Franks will also help to tempt brand managers, media buyers and
marketing directors back to television advertising using programme
M&C Saatchi has created a series of press adverts called ‘killer facts’
which Lynne Franks will exploit.
Examples of the ‘killer facts’ are that more people watch Coronation
Street than are in full time employment in the UK and London’s Burning
is the most popular programme for 16-34 year-olds.
ITV companies like LWT, Carlton and Granada have their own press
departments as does the ITV Network Centre which decides programming.
However, the PR programme is part of ITV’s plan to unite its competing
regional operators in order to market ITV under a single banner.