Media houses adding creative capabilities in-house has been a rising trend for some time now. And the most recent one to follow suit is CNBC which is launching a full-service, in-house commercial agency called CNBC Catalyst with a full set of international ad sales team and content studio.
The move is designed to firmly reassert the network's commercial position in the global advertising marketplace.
The agency will offer a menu of services articulated through the shorthand ABCDE – Audience, Brand Consultancy, Content, Data and Events & Experiences. Catalyst is positioned as the "rights-holder to the world's most powerful audience". With an expanded product suite and expertise, the team will work with clients to fully exploit CNBC's access to the global business and investor community.
In Singapore, MediaCorp and SPH already have had creative units within the company for years. Among global media companies, Turner in 2011 restructured its sponsorship and promotions department and launched a full-service in-house agency offering creative solutions to clients. And not just media, most recently, classic telcos such as StarHub have started to add capabilities that were previously outsourced such as social media, in-house.
CNBC Catalyst is headquartered in London and Singapore with country - specific experts based throughout EMEA and APAC. The Singapore team is being led by director Kerry Tarrant. She has over 10 years of her career with CNBC International, having held various roles in the UK and Singapore. Prior to joining CNBC, Kerry was the regional director, Greater China, Japan and The Philippines, at BBC and based in Hong Kong.
Already, CNBC's Catalyst has a portfolio of clients from various industries including Petronas, Toshiba, Bank of Singapore and Indonesia's Ministry of Tourism.
The agency has in the past 12 months added over a dozen consultative sales executives, expert brand strategists and a range of new products in areas such as digital. The Catalyst concept has evolved under the leadership of Max Raven , who joined CNBC as senior vice president in 2015.
Raven said: " Advertising platforms have multiplied to the extent that you can talk to an audience in a thousand different ways. But engaging that audience - creating a two way dialogue that moves the needle - is a much more specialist art. Catalyst will help clients practice that art, so they spark the desired reaction with our affluent business and investor audience."
KC Sullivan, president and MD of CNBC International added: "As a business, we've started a journey to strengthen and refine our brand positioning. We have a pipeline of initiatives planned to ensure that CNBC is differentiated in the ever-expanding media landscape. Today's launch is the first manifestation of that process."