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GB News enlists ad agency to reach '50% of Britons that haven't heard of GB News yet'

Analysis of the major advertising and media account moves of the week. Keep up with the latest client reviews and pitches here.

GB News anchor Patrick Christys. The station has hired London Advertising for a new campaign

We consider the week’s account wins, starting with conservative news channel GB News’s brief for London Advertising.

Right-wing TV station GB News has appointed indie agency London Advertising to propel it beyond the south-east of England with a new marketing campaign.

Aiming to target British viewers that live outside London and the south-east, the campaign will include out-of-home (OOH), print, digital and PR activations.

In a statement, Angelos Frangopoulos, chief executive officer of GB News, said: “GB News is committed to serving the voices of the 86% of people who live beyond the south-east and London – the ’silent majority’ of Britain – so this campaign will meet them where they are.”

Why is GB News turning to advertising?

Since launching in June, the channel has struggled for viewers – during July some broadcasts attracted zero viewers, according to watchdog Ofcom – but not for press. Most of that attention has been unfavorable, though, with The Financial Times concluding ”it just isn’t very good” and The Guardian’s reviewer summarizing the station’s output as ”100% odious.” Andrew Neil, the talismanic founding anchor of the station, left after presenting just eight programs; he later said he came close to experiencing a ”breakdown” trying to get the channel off the ground. Given its initial reception from viewers and critics then, any promotional campaign will be facing an uphill struggle.

For its part, the station believes it’s barely begun to reach the British population; new agency partner London says that half the British public haven’t even heard of it. Michael Moszynski, chief executive officer of London Advertising, said: “We know that 50% of Britons haven’t heard of GB News yet, so we need a compelling and gutsy campaign to reach them. Like GB News, our campaign is designed to challenge groupthink and misconceptions.

“Extensive audience research with our partner Yonder proves what we suspected: many opinions of the channel come from people who’ve never actually watched it. But most of those who have watched say GB News is a positive, enjoyable and refreshing offering. We have a powerful history of using our data to accurately read the mood of the British public outside the metropolitan media/ad bubble.”

Breaking beyond the “ad bubble“ of London and southern England may be one of GB News’s longstanding aims, but may not prove particularly lucrative; as YouGov’s Amelia Brophy previously noted, its target audience of older viewers beyond the capital are “less receptive“ to advertising.

Moves you may have missed

  • Crunchy crispbread brand Ryvita has appointed Havas London, its first retained agency since 2017.

  • Pharma firm Eli Lilly has granted its US media business to Zenith, ending a 20-year relationship with OMD.

  • GoCompare has chosen to extend its time with Omnicom’s Hearts & Science.

  • McCain Foods GB, the nation’s leading oven chips provider, has appointed We Are Social as its social agency-of-record.

  • Publicis.Poke has expanded its global remit with client Essity; it’ll now be taking on e-commerce and global creative work for hygiene brand Tork.

  • Publicis Worldwide has been appointed by Swimming Australia.

  • Fintech Railsbank has picked Nelson Bostock as its PR agency.

  • Financial services firm Zip Co has appointed Mindbox to drive digital advertising and engagement.

  • Edtech company Rewise Learning has appointed Reg&Co to help it develop a sponsorship strategy in the new year.

If you’ve got a client win to tell us about, email me at businessonthemove@thedrum.com.

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