Belfast Telegraph

UTV unveils its new logo as broadcaster joins ITV family after £100m takeover

By Rachel Martin

Gone are the distinctive blue and yellow colours as UTV unveils its new ITV-style branding as part of its £100m takeover.

Questions had been raised over whether the Northern Ireland broadcaster would retain its UTV identity and branding after it was bought over by ITV earlier this year.

Last month, the radio part of UTV Media plc, which was not sold to ITV, changed its name to the Wireless Group.

UTV managing director Michael Wilson remains at the helm of the company, which brought shows such as Paul and Nick's Big American Food Trip and Rare Breed to our screens.

UTV Live news will also be rebranded in keeping with the ITV News network, and both the UTV channel logo and news will have new colour schemes.

Co Down branding expert David Henderson, whose company was behind the advertising campaign for shopping on the Lisburn Road in Belfast, said it was "not unusual" for companies involved in mergers to nod back to the previous brand's design.

"It shows consistency which is important in a takeover but also gives a nod to what has been before," he added.

The rebrand was led in-house by ITV Creative alongside the UTV creative team.

The cost of the re-brand could be substantial as the company's websites, sets and on-air graphics will all have to be updated to reflect the new logo. Rufus Radcliffe, group director of marketing and research at ITV, said: "UTV's brand heritage is exceptionally strong in Northern Ireland, which is reflected by its market-leading position. This is something we wanted to build upon when the channel joined ITV, keeping the strong connection with the UTV audience, but clearly positioning it as part of ITV, the UK's largest and most successful commercial broadcaster. "The rebranding of UTV allows us to further cement that relationship in viewers' minds and ensure we now have a consistent identity across everything that we do, all rooted in our positioning as a media brand that is at the heart of popular culture.

"We will be out and about filming some new iDents across Northern Ireland which will be shown across the ITV Network."

The branding will go on air in the coming months, and viewers are expected to see the changes roll out before the end of the year.

Trevor McCormick, creative director of UTV, said it was the start of an "exciting new chapter" for the company. "This is the continuation of a journey that began back in 1958 with Ulster Television and has seen several UTV logos evolve on screen over the years," Mr McCormick added.

"The time is now right to give the channel a fresh identity but one that is still connected to our heritage."

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