GMG hands Smooth FM launch task to Clear

Guardian Media Group (GMG) has appointed Clear Marketing to create an identity and launch campaign for Smooth FM, the relaunched Jazz FM North West which goes on air on March 2.

The Manchester-based agency, which already handles the advertising for GMG's three Real Radio stations, pitched against Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw, which handles the &£2m Jazz FM account, and an undisclosed agency.

A &£1m marketing campaign, running across television and outdoor, will support the relaunch. Clear has been briefed to create a campaign that will give listeners a taste of the station's programming. GMG Radio chief executive John Myers is overseeing the campaign but it is understood he may appoint a dedicated marketer to the Smooth brand in the future (MW December 11, 2003).

GMG decided to rebrand the radio station to Smooth FM after research showed that the Jazz FM name was putting listeners off. It will have a broader playlist than Jazz FM and will focus on newer jazz artists such as Jamie Callum and more soul-oriented artists such as Norah Jones.

The relaunch of the station, which covers 5.3 million adults across the Manchester, Liverpool and Lancashire regions, does not affect Jazz FM in London and its advertising will continue to be handled by Kitcatt Nohr.

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