BBC Broadcast wins screen test for ITV identities

In a spectacular turn of events, ITV has appointed the BBC’s own design team from BBC Broadcast Creative Services to handle the screen design for its entire channel network.

The soon-to-be-sold BBC Broadcast was appointed this week by ITV’s incoming marketing director Clare Salmon. The win follows credentials pitches from ITV incumbent Bruce Dunlop Associates, Lambie-Nairn, Dunning Eley Jones and English & Pockett.

Salmon is understood to be reviewing the broadcaster’s on-and-off-air identities for ITV1, ITV2 and ITV3 to fanfare ITV’s 50th anniversary at the beginning of October. Her appointment last December follows the departure of former ITV marketing director Jim Hytner, who left to join Barclays.

In March this year, Salmon brought in ad agency M&C Saatchi to review the brand’s market positioning, which is still in research, according to sources. The results of this study will be used to define how extensive the new-look branding will be.

The design groups pitched on the basis that one of three outcomes will prevail, ranging from a small tweak to a complete redesign of all the channel’s brands.

The move will come as a blow to BDA, which has been handling the broadcaster’s screen idents since Hytner relaunched them in 2002. The screen specialist has only just seen its idents for ITV Day go live (DW 31 March).

The appointment of BBC Broadcast amounts to a huge vote of confidence in the design team, whose future has been the subject of much speculation since it was put up for sale in March (DW 17 March). One source close to the BBC described it as ‘the biggest thing the BBC has ever won’.

The broadcaster is also likely to use the BBC team, headed by director of Creative Services Andy Bryant, to brand its soon-to-launch ITV4, though details about the channel are scant. It is not yet certain whether the channel will be aimed at the older male audience, as commentators are predicting. BBC Broadcast was unavailable for comment as Design Week went to press.

Meanwhile, the BBC unveiled a set of idents for BBC2 last weekend designed by BBC Broadcast, based on the morris dancing efforts of its mechanical ‘2’ character.

ITV’s screen idents – the legacy

2002

• October – Jim Hytner launches unified ITV idents designed by BDA, and replaces regional ITV channels with ITV1 brand.

2004

• October – Hytner joins Barclays as group brand and UK marketing director.

• December – Former AA Financial Services managing director Clare Salmon replaces Hytner.

2005

• March – Ad agency BBH is axed by Salmon and replaced by M&C Saatchi, which begins a brand positioning review of all its channels.

• April 11 – ITV Day idents by BDA aired for first time.

• May – BBC Broadcast replaces BDA as broadcast designers for ITV1, ITV2 and ITV3.

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