Part 16 – 1990s Working for The Nation’s Favourite
The magazine On Course, published by BBC Education, was one of several magazine-type projects that we produced for clients.
The first few issues were never profitable, but after a while they made a major contribution to our bottom line as we got to know what the client wanted and streamlined the production process.
This project also saw the advent of exchanging files electronically by email – another example of new technology which led to much frustration in its unreliable infancy.
On this job, and wherever possible, we handled the repro and print for our clients, another major contributor to our profits.
BBC Education was another one of those out-of-the-way accounts that provided lots of work and plenty of variety.
The nation’s favourite
BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, proved to be a wonderful but challenging client.
Both BBC Worldwide and BBC Education were clients any consultancy would welcome.
They were in the unique position of being able to uphold the highest standards in the creative process and in other areas as well, notably their ethical stance, yet compete successfully in the cut-throat world of entertainment.
Once we had gained their confidence, we were given complete creative responsibility for our work with them.
As with our other major clients, we started very modestly on a few small jobs, eventually becoming responsible for the design, marketing and packaging of practically 100% of BBC Worldwide’s output.
What was unusual here was that we had to provide a complete infrastructure as well as brilliant work. We partly functioned as an internal department, providing staff to work in-house, as well as an external studio support service.
The volumes were vast, with briefing sessions of 20 – 30 jobs at a time being practically a daily occurrence.