Britain's Channel Five Rebrands in Move Upmarket

26 August 2002

The nation’s fifth terrestrial broadcaster Channel 5 is set to swap ‘adult’ content for grown-up content in a move away from what the UK media industry fondly dubbed the three ‘F’s – Football, Films and … [sorry, we fear the majority of email anti-porn filters won’t allow the third ‘F’].

On September 16 the channel will rebrand simply as Five, following the already evident move out of the feculence it previously peddled. Five, whose controlling shareholder is Bertelsmann unit RTL Group, aims to “address the gap between the common perceptions of Five and the new reality of its programming”.

Five’s chief executive Dawn Airey – currently rumoured to be an object of desire for the ailing ITV network – has recently introduced a notable increase in quality television output, including a raft of historical and arts programming.

Says director of marketing David Pullan: “Channel 5 was a name; Five is a brand. Five as a brand reflects the evolution the channel is undergoing in programming and in becoming a more confident and distinctive viewer proposition.”

Pullan then appeared to realise he was talking to grown-ups off-air as well as on: “In the past, much of our advertising has been tactical, with no one ad having much continuity with the one which preceded or followed it,” he admitted.

“It is time to be more strategic and cohesive in our communications, and to use consistent creative work in consistent media to make our budgets work more effectively and to give Five's brand more clarity.”

“Our new on-air identity will give the viewer a completely fresh experience of the channel. It is ground-breaking and innovative, while remaining approachable and true to the channel’s roots.”

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff