Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by ASTRA Marketing Limited

  I am pleased to supply you with the details for our consumer campaign designed to support increased digital satellite sales, which will run through to December 2001.

  Our objective for the campaign is to build awareness of digital satellite and to positively influence opinions of those UK householders who have the means to acquire but have as yet been uninterested in moving towards digital.

  The pre-advertising research for the campaign revealed that from current non-adopters of digital, the largest and most responsive group of people would be in the "young family" sector, however they were also likely to be people who had fought shy of any promotional messages to date. The research demonstrated that the most likely approach to interest them in switching to digital would be to communicate a compelling choice in services for both free and subscription packages.

  ASTRA have therefore built a message of "best choice" in digital TV from the wide and varied selection available free to view (over 85 TV and radio services) along with the excellent range of subscription packages available.

  With a title selection based upon the reading habits of our target household sector, ASTRA has booked full colour page "advertorials" in six magazine titles with seven insertions in total, which appear on shelves from October to December 2001.

  Using Linda Barker, one of today's best-known TV personalities, famous for her interior design skills, as a spokesperson for digital satellite, ASTRA will generate interest and influence current non-adopters by showing the excellent choice available today for households nation-wide. Linda provides an excellent endorsement for digital satellite providing comments about why it is the best format to switch to, including choice and control.

  Each advertorial includes a call to action for more information/details of local retailers etc. There is also a competition incentive where readers can register for information and be placed into a prize draw for a 28" Widescreen TV. Each caller will be supplied with details of their nearest digital satellite retailers/installers and will receive a current ASTRA consumer brochure and copy of the ASTRA discreet dish installation leaflet.

  I have pleasure in enclosing two samples of the advertorials (not printed), which will appear in M&S and ASDA magazines (please note that small elements of the wording/layout will be changed for the final artwork).

  The media schedule will run as follows:

M&S Magazine
Homes & Gardens
Woman & Home
Good Housekeeping
Saturday Telegraph magazine
27 October, 17 November

  In addition to using Linda Barker as a spokesperson for ASTRA within our advertorial campaign, she will also be featured in a new version of the ASTRA Guide to Discreet Dish Installation. The new four pages A4 colour brochure will be in print from late October and is available for all digital satellite retailers and installers through our ASTRA order line 0845 769 7760.

  With over five and a half million households already receiving digital satellite services in the UK, new services such as ITV1 and brightblue from Energis joining the platform soon, and with the peak season upon us, the market for digital satellite has never looked so good!

November 2001

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