You do sometimes wish the BBC would make its mind up. A decade after unloading BBC Broadcast Ltd – which became the highly valuable Red Bee Media, now owned by Ericcson – it’s having another go at an in-house agency and has poached ‘The Bear and The Hare’ creatives Laurent Simon and Aidan McLure (below) for BBC Creative, launching in January.
Since Red Bee departed the Beeb has used a number of agencies – latterly RKCR/Y&R and Karmarama – as well as employing Red Bee. But the success of Channel 4’s 4Creative has shown pretty clearly that in-house agencies can work well – and win loads of awards – for big broadcasters. RKCR/Y&R remains the BBC’s AOR but it’s unlikely that Simon and McLure, who also work on VW and McCains at A&E – will be contracting out too many big briefs.
BBC Creative is headed by Justin Bairamian, a former MD of Leagas Delaney who has held a number of marketing roles since joining in 2003. Leagas produced ‘Perfect Day,’ perhaps the best BBC ad.
Bairamian says: “Aidan and Laurent are one of the most talented creative teams of their generation and we’re delighted they’re joining the BBC. BBC Creative is bringing together some great people from Red Bee and the BBC and, with them at the helm, we’re confident we’ll reach new creative heights.”
The main reason for going in-house though, as with most things at the BBC now, is almost certainly money. Despite its £3bn plus in revenue the Beeb is always threatening to axe this, that and the other as the Tory government tightens the purse strings. Simon and McLure, a notably ambitious pairing, won’t have come cheap though. Moving to mainly in-house ad creative is as much a PR weapon for director general Tony Hall as a serious cost-saving measure.
The BBC tells me this isn’t primarily a cost saving measure, instead a way of bringing in house stuff that has been outsourced to Red Bee Media. And RKCR/Y&R is still on the case.
Here’s RKCR/Y&R’s latest for BBC Drama. Very good too.
But, hang on, why is every new TV drama about a serial killer? Says something about the state of the human race…