Digital UK, the industry-funded body charged with coordinating Britain's 2008-2012 switchover timetable, is on the hunt for an advertising agency to handle its consumer marketing campaign.
Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO was engaged two months ago to manage the rebranding of SwitchCo to Digital UK. According to Campaign magazine, that contract has now ended and Digital UK chief executive Ford Ennals is now inviting agencies to pitch for a two-year account.
The consumer education campaign will rank as one of the biggest public information exercises conducted in Britain since decimalisation in the early 1970s.
Writing in this month's Digital News, Campaign journalist James Hamilton said the initial Digital UK launch campaign adopted "information heavy print ads that would be more at home on the wall of a local library than in the national press".
Hamilton continued: "If the digital switchover is to work, millions of hearts, minds and wallets need to be convinced of the need to make the shift to digital TV, not merely told they'll have to do so, or else."
Meanwhile, MediaGuardian reported that Digital UK has appointed former head of BBC News publicity Jon Steel as its head of media relations. Steel, who starts in November, told MediaGuardian: "Bringing digital TV to the whole UK is a huge challenge and likely to be one of the biggest stories of the next few years.
"Digital UK will be at the heart of that story, ensuring a smooth transition and helping people understand what is happening and when."
Lovelace Consulting | 14.10.2005