Prevue TV, Sweeps For Richards

Prevue Networks of Tulsa, Okla., hired The Richards Group here to handle broadcast and print advertising assignments for its television listings channel after a review of three shops.
Also considered were Gleason Calise Associates in Dallas and GSD&M of Austin, Texas. Prevue director of marketing Paul McCarthy estimated Prevue’s advertising spending at $3-5 million.
A decision in the review was delayed for three weeks after Prevue parent United Video Satellite Group agreed in June to acquire TV Guide and its affiliated properties (an online Web site and cable guide publisher TVSM) from News Corp. for $2 billion in cash and stock.
McCarthy said the agency selection was approved by Prevue and TV Guide executives in late July. Richards will not have an agency of record designation, but the working arrangement will be ongoing, McCarthy said. TV Guide does not have an existing agency relationship.
The client’s Prevue Channel will be rebranded under the TV Guide banner, though company officials said last week a date for the transition has not been set.
Richards’ initial assignment includes the development of two 30-second television commercials and supporting print advertising promoting Prevue’s first national consumer sweepstakes.
The “Get Me In” sweepstakes will offer viewers a chance to win one of 10 trips to Hollywood, where they will go backstage at programs highlighted on the Prevue Channel. Print ads will run in TV Guide, and contest entries will be accepted at Prevue’s Web site. The promotion launches next week and runs through September.
“We’re excited about the assignments we’ve been given and about getting involved in potential rebranding initiatives with Prevue and TV Guide,” said Richards principal David Hall.
McCarthy said The Richards Group’s category experience and creative reputation were factors in its selection. Last October, the Dallas agency landed creative duties for Encore Media Group’s Starz!, Encore and Movieplex cable television and satellite networks. It also handles advertising for TCI.Net, the retail distributor of Internet products for Denver-based Tele-Communications Inc.