BBC’s in-house team broadcasts itself abroad

The BBC’s design consultancy, BBC MediaArc, is launching itself as a conventional creative consultancy rather than an in-house resource.

As part of its first new business drive to boost revenue from external clients since its inception in December, it has appointed Jonathan Wilson as its first head of business development.

Wilson’s remit is to secure high profile, strategic broadcast and corporate work from new clients. “We need to move away from a facilities model to a creative agency, becoming more business savvy,” he says.

About 60 per cent of BBC MediaArc’s work is for the BBC, with the remainder for external clients, such as HSBC and OnDigital. Wilson hopes to reverse the ratio within “the next couple of years”.

“We want to expand our operation further, generating more external work, including the international arena,” Wilson says. “We value our BBC clients, but our overall remit is to generate more revenue for the BBC.”

The consultancy has four business units, in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol and London, which were previously tasked with generating their own income. The move centralises the new business effort, giving Wilson responsiblity for increasing revenue across all four sites.

“I have to pull them together to create one voice and one mission, moving away from isolated pockets of regional development. We are now all part of one common business objective, recognising that each of the units will have specific skill-sets. Whichever unit wins the business, it will be delivered by [whichever is the] most suitable,” he says.

The consultancy’s drive for external business is not thought to be related to the BBC’s costcutting programme, which is understood to include a review of its design roster (DW 19 April).

BBC MediaArc, which is part of BBC Resources, recently lost out to Lambie-Nairn in a pitch for the BBC1 and BBC2 visual identities (DW 5 April).

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