Conglom moves to consolidate creative marketing

NEW YORK — News Corp. is laying the groundwork for a stepped-up marketing assault for its new DBS platform DirecTV.

Company on Thursday tapped Gotham-based ad agency BBDO to spearhead a planned $115 million ad campaign to pump the satcaster in a series of print and TV ads that will debut this spring.

Deal is part of a broad-based effort to consolidate all creative marketing efforts into one agency group. Media buying and planning chores will shift from Starcom’s MediaVest Group to OMD, which, like BBDO, is part of the Omnicom group.

BBDO New York replaces previous ad shop Deutsch Los Angeles (Interpublic Group) as lead creative agency, with responsibility for a range of consumer communications, including television, radio, print and direct response on both a national and local basis.

“As the second largest pay television service in the country, our primary challenge is to increase customer acquisition and retention in an increasingly competitive environment,” said DirecTV exec VP Neal Tiles.

Creative shift is part of News Corp.’s mandate for the DBS platforms. The group’s headquarters is shifting to Gotham under the direction of Hughes chief exec Chase Carey and DirecTV chief Mitch Stern. New management is also working on upgrading customer service and fulfillment operations.

Carey told investors earlier this month that the company aims to add at least 1 million subscribers this year to reach 13 million customers within three years. Company said it was looking to get “more bang for the buck in marketing” and would focus on aggressively promoting the already strong DirecTV brand, particularly focusing on weak cable markets.

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