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Friday, January 12, 2007

What is in a logo?

Today's Western Mail reports that Welsh Language Channel S4C has spent £606,972 re-branding itself. To be precise it has turned its distinctive logo (pictured) into S4/C. This must be the most expensive slash in history.

S4C's audience consists of the 600,000 Welsh speakers in Wales and it commands a monopoly position as the only TV channel catering for them. It has a huge name recognition amongst its viewer base. Quite how the channel can justify this sort of expenditure on this sort of marketing is difficult to understand.

The Chief Executive claims that the new brand reflects S4C's agenda for "creative excellence". She adds: "It demonstrates a renewed confidence in our content and will help the channel stand out as a multi-platform operator in the all-digital environment." If anybody can translate that nonsense into plain English then I would be interested in hearing it. It is a prime candidate for Private Eye's Pseuds Corner.

What the new brand actually demonstrates is that this television company is failing to spend the £94.4m of public money it receives on what it was intended for - quality programmes in the Welsh language. It is no wonder that they have been fighting against the Welsh Assembly taking responsibility for them. Goodness only knows what would come out if they were ever subjected to vigorous scrutiny.
I'm constantly surprised by the amount of non-Welsh speakers who I come across that tell me they watch S4C (probably more often than I do!), so it's not just Welsh speakers they cater for - most (if not all) programmes are subtitled.
But you're right, who's not going to have heard of the channel, and I actually thought the old branding was very good.
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