Design cost

BBC spends £7m on rebrand ‘modernisation’

New BBC logo top and old
Spot the difference: new logo, top, and old at bottom

BBC bosses spent more than £7 million on a rebrand that included changes to the corporation’s logos at a time when it claims that a tight budget is forcing it to make cutbacks.

The rebranding saw the creation of logos overseen by the design agency Wolff Olins. The BBC had initially declined to disclose the cost for “commercial reasons”.

The information commissioner ordered the corporation to disclose the cost after an eight-month freedom of information battle with the Daily Express. According to the newspaper, the cost of the revamp was £7.26m.

The BBC said yesterday that the rebrand was a “modernisation of all our services, platforms and channels, over a number of years to ensure what we provide meets audience expectation.”

It has justified the rebrand as important to its overall updating of digital services. It said that “updated, recognisable colours, logos and graphics will identify each service and help improve navigation between them”.

New BBC category items
New BBC category items above, and the old ones below

Last year when announcing the rebranding, the BBC said its own research showed that “audiences think some of our services look old-fashioned and out of date . . . They want a modern BBC that is easier to use and navigate to find the content they love and enjoy”.

The rebrand comes as the £159 licence fee has been frozen until 2024 and is then due to increase in line with inflation until 2027 when the existing Royal Charter ends.

The BBC has previously said that the freezing of the fee would lead to a £285m funding gap by 2027, a figure that due to inflation it now believes will be closer to £400m.

Among changes being made are cuts to its World Service output and changes to its local radio output, which will mean the 39 stations in the BBC England network will share “regional” and “national” content from 2pm on weekdays and during most of the weekend.

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