VH1 Talking to Shops

By Teresa Andreoli and Matt Surman

NEW YORK–Music video cable network VH1 is talking to agencies about creative project assignments, sources said last week.

At least two undisclosed shops are to make presentations to VH1 for what sources have described as a creative image assignment.

Media planning and buying is handled by TBWA Chiat/Day here.

Executives at New York-based VH1, a unit of MTV Networks, would not confirm a search but said they regularly speak with agencies about creative projects. ‘VH1 is always talking to agencies in the normal course of business,’ said Joshua Katz, senior vice president of marketing, who added that the channel is ‘always looking for people to help us define the brand.’ Katz joined the company about a year and a half ago from Cartoon Network, based in Atlanta.

Vice president of consumer marketing Jesse Jackson, who joined the company in October from A&E Network in New York, is involved in discussions with agencies, said sources. He could not be reached for comment.

The music channel is known for hiring agencies on a project-only basis. Mad Dogs & Englishmen, New York, and Hunt Adkins, Minneapolis, are two shops that have worked on creative projects with the client in the past two years.

The 12-year-old network, often overshadowed by sister channel MTV, is trying to connect with music lovers whose lifestyles do not permit endless hours of TV viewing, sources said.

The channel is seeking to develop a stronger brand identity to improve its ratings, said sources.

VH1 spent between $2-3 million on advertising last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

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