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Following speculation about BBC1 controller Lorraine Heggessey’s plans for the BBC’s balloon idents, do you think the idents should be dropped? If so why? If not, why not?

‘Conducting a small survey round our office, the general impression was that the balloon had run for no longer than two years. This is a good indication to retain it. If a title sequence or on-screen branding exercise is shorter than its actual length it is seen as a positive aspect. Maybe the concept can be expanded to give a more global feel. However, Heggessey is new to the job and will surely want to make her mark. She will see the balloon as “old BBC” and will be looking for a fresher approach. So, all things considered, let’s celebrate and burst the balloons today.’

Chris Jennings, creative director, Code Design & Direction

‘The balloon lacks engagement. True, it’s classily achieved: Britain looks like a place to visit on your holidays and not get mugged, and it’s pleasant to float for a moment of peace between programmes. But in 2001, it comes over like the corporate logo of a pharmaceuticals company specialising in pain relief for the elderly. BBC1 needs something human that makes you care, makes you feel something real for a change – such as Phil Mitchell [an EastEnders character] headbutting the camera.’

John Whiston, Director of programmes, Yorkshire TV

‘The BBC idents, in the end, hark back to a different era. They seem presumptuous and overbearing in a multi-cultural and multi-channel environment. While trying to appear regionalist in their structure, and although very pretty to look at, they, in the end, reinforce the view that Auntie is still with us. A little bit of diversity by the BBC, in both its presentation and design consultants, would do everyone the world of good.’

Mark Rock, director, creative strategy, Static 2358

‘The balloon should stay. As an update of the BBC globe, it visualises BBC1’s wide perspective, and transporting the balloon to locations such as Scotland and London Docklands suggests it provides a local viewpoint. Its next manifestation should be the balloon drifting over San Francisco or the Rift Valley, to show the channel’s commitment to its World Service and international news. The BBC must have spent a fortune on the identity – it can’t go back to the drawing board now.’

David Bainbridge, deputy marketing director, Channel 5

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