CBC/Radio-Canada puts branded content initiative on hold

CBC/Radio-Canada has confirmed it’s putting its expanded branded content initiative on hold pending further review.

CBC/Radio-Canada Media Solutions, the public broadcaster’s multi-platform sales and advertising division, announced the launch of Tandem last month, a dedicated branded content offering that included producing promotional podcasts.

At launch, the public broadcaster said the offering was in response to demand from advertisers and was following the lead of other media companies with Donald Lizotte, General Manager and Chief Revenue Officer, CBC & Radio-Canada Media Solutions, saying that “Clients wanted an integrated, turnkey solution to create quality content and leverage the credibility of our network.”

The move drew intense criticism online from those who questioned whether CBC/Radio-Canada was straying further from its mandate, including the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) the union representing CBC employees. CMG had put the issue on the agenda for the September National Joint Committee meeting between the union and management.

“We feel there are more insights to be gained on this initiative (Tandem) and to that end, we are taking a brief pause on booking any new branded content campaigns while we dig a bit deeper,” wrote Chuck Thompson, CBC’s Head of Public Affairs, in an email to Broadcast Dialogue.

Thompson said any existing bookings under the new initiative will be honoured.

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