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Accident-prone BBC appoints chief brand officer

The BBC has appointed its first chief brand officer, Charl Bassil who joins after a long career at Swedish vodka brand Absolut and elsewhere in the drinks business. He will report to chief customer officer Kerris Bright.

Bassil (left), no doubt a more than capable marketer, is charged with building a “holistic” brand strategy for the Beeb and leading a clearly well-stocked team of 250 figuring out where the BBC goes in a digital world. At the moment these elves are busily trying to make us register to watch its (so far) free website.

Bassil says: “I am incredibly proud to embark on a new chapter in my career helping the BBC build relevance and deliver value for all in an increasingly fragmented media marketplace.”

Bright says: “Building a powerful BBC brand, driven by our unique public service values that drives audience growth and is loved and valued by all, is vital in today’s world. I am excited to bring Charl’s expertise into the BBC to help us build our iconic global brand further.”

This is all well and good but is there another organisation on earth more adept at putting its foot in it than the BBC? Thames Water maybe.

Whatever the marketers may dream up, someone, somewhere at the Beeb will commit a monumental howler (at the moment it’s hanging on to the emails involved in the still-controversial Martin Bashir interview with Princess Diana despite a court ruling.) And its main task remains persuading the Government to keep funding it via the licence fee, about to go up after a two-year freeze. Bizarrely you can still end up in the nick if you watch TV without a licence.

All the digital smarts in the world won’t help much unless the Beeb’s top management, director general Tim Davie (a former Pepsi marketer) and new chairman Samir Shah can get get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet (assuming they have one.)

And there’s another storm brewing in the right wing press over Match of the Day host Gary Lineker signing an open letter condemning Israel’s actions in Gaza.

Good luck with that “holistic” brand.

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