Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

 You are in:  Talking Point
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Tuesday, 2 April, 2002, 08:46 GMT 09:46 UK
What do you think of the BBC's new image?
The globe that has been the symbol of BBC One since the channel began in 1964 is being replaced by clips of dancers wearing red.

In the search for something more vibrant and cosmopolitan, the corporation has unveiled eight clips, or "idents", which will replace the current scenes of hot air balloons.

The new clips feature people dressed in red in front of some of the UK's most stunning urban and natural settings.

BBC One Controller Lorraine Heggessey said the new clips were intended to capture "the new spirit" of BBC One and reflect its new, dynamic identity.

What do you think of the TV Channel's new branding?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

Change for the sake of change is a waste of time and money, but at least they have not changed the name to something Italian sounding - the real mark of a company going downhill fast !
Chris , UK

The BBC should have the guts to ignore the backbiters

Mark Mendonca, London
Personally, I preferred the globe, but then I want the Thames fanfare back on ITV and the old ATV ident before Crossroads. Anyway how is a TV channel changing its idents "politically correct"? They've shown a range of different people, for heaven's sake, get your heads out of the Daily Mail and look about you. I don't get it. Carlton in London had a similar on-screen look a few years back and I don't remember miserable old grouches rushing to complain.

The BBC should have the guts to ignore the backbiters who do down this country with their empty talk of "dumbing down" and "political correctness", rather than going through this bizarre exercise in "here we are, come on slag us off".
Mark Mendonca, London

Has the BBC ever received any complaints from members of ethnic minorities to the effect that the Globe idents were discriminatory, un-inclusive or offensive? If so, than perhaps a re-branding could be justified. If not - and I suspect that this is the case - then the whole affair is an embarrassing exercise in politically correct nonsense.
R Towes, Great Britain

I have to say that I think these new idents are boring, uneventful and do not reflect BBC One's image as a modern entertainment channel. It is almost impossible to tell where a trailer has finished and an ident has started, and the red box looks ridiculous in widescreen - the logo needs to be centred. I feel that the idents are too slow and not dynamic enough. I also believe that there is no clock to go along with this new look - a very bad move, the clock both gave an indication that news was coming on, and also gave the channel some sense of authority. The recent BBC One "coming up" trailers, featuring the "1" made up from circles would have been far more reflective of the channel's image if it had been used as an ident. I think the BBC should reconsider this move immediately and listen to the opinions of the viewers.
Michael, Scotland

If one symbol emphasises the diversity of the population of the UK and of the BBC it is the Globe. It covers ALL races, religions, sexes and any other artificial division you want to envisage. This new "brand" only serves to separate each featured group from the whole, "look at me I'm different", rather than integrate. We have enough pressure groups trying to prove that some minority group is more integrated than another, or less. The BBC should stand for ALL of the peoples of the Earth, as a whole, not as groups. That is for others to do.
Barry P, England

There seems to be a "modern" approach that feels that the old things we all love should be changed

Ian, UK
I have yet to see this kind of re-branding do anything but attract derision. There seems to be a "modern" approach that feels that the old things we all love should be changed. Take the Post Office as a typical example. Some things are better left alone - in other words - If it ain't broke - don't fix it. But nobody listens.
Ian, UK

Why do people find it so important? The reason you watch a particular channel is due only to the programs they show, and nothing at all to do with the logo they show.
Stephen, UK

I think that the new idents are good and people from all walks of life in the new idents are a good idea, it shows that we live in a multi-cultural society, but I am going to miss the spinning globe.
Jean-Paul Irtelli, Brighton, England

WHY? The globe represents BBC1. Revamp it if a new image is needed, but dumping it all together is a bad move. Just ask Consignia - The Post Office; British Airways - the tail-fin fiasco; etc. A brand image is so valuable. I bet Coke, Mercedes, Boots, etc. wouldn't drop theirs for anything. A BIG mistake!
Graham, The Netherlands

Change is good. There are far greater issues to worry about anyway. You go Beeb!!
Sally Pinto, New York, USA

I guess whatever we'll say, we'll have to live with it. Sad, very sad. The idea of mixing the old ball or balloon from BBC with beautiful shots of UK was just great. Now, people dancing, singing, who are they? Where are they? A disco in Manhattan or Malaga?
Didier Piette, Belgium

I actually think that it's a good move and I like the new images which will soon be broadcast. The only thing which I don't agree with is the amount of money spent to create them - how can it cost so much?
Scott, UK

Why are companies so obsessed with wasting money on branding and image? Did the BBC miss how critical the public and the media were of British Airways and later Consignia attempts at this. Are the Beeb so arrogant that they can just waste the money that's provided by the British public, in the hope that we might see better programmes?
Baz, England

I loved seeing the landscapes and working out where they were

Marcus Lodwick, UK
Shame on the BBC. I loved seeing the landscapes and working out where they were - in fact, there should have been more of them, reflecting more of Britain. The World said everything about the best of the Beeb. The new controller said there were glorious landscapes in the new films - such as the Welsh countryside in the "rugby film". In fact all I saw was mud. I also love dancing but don't want it between programmes. I imagine the new controller wanted to leave her mark - she's done that and hope she and the new logo will go the way of the British Airways and Consignia rebranding!
Marcus Lodwick, UK

First Mars Bars go, now this. The dancers look cool, but I really, really like the Globe. I'd rather have had a reduction on my license fee.
Kate, UK

I am so grateful to the BBC that I don't care what you use

Ronald J Marsden, USA
I am so grateful to the BBC that I don't care what you use. It's the content that I am so impressed with. You are my connection to the world. Thanks.
Ronald J Marsden, USA

Hopefully, this marketing idea will be as short-lived as when the BBC tried changing the theme tune of 'Match of the Day' a few years ago. Keep the globe!
Rob Holman, Chislehurst, Kent, England

Based on recent utterances from the Governors they should keep the balloons. Plenty of hot air there - they can save a fortune on fuel!
Paul B, Oxfordshire, UK

Bit more fiddling while Rome burns. The only improvements people want is in the quality of the programs, and a significant reduction in stupid remarks by BBC highly paid senior executives!
Nigel Green, England

Dull, irrelevant, overtly politically correct and ultimately meaningless

Andrew, England
Dull, irrelevant, overtly politically correct and ultimately meaningless, this new image characterises what the BBC has now become. It's about time the Blair, sorry, British Broadcasting Corporation was quietly put out of its misery. This relaunch epitomises image over content and style over substance that has dogged British life over the past few years. This is not just a makeover, but represents something much more fundamental. The new image is as shallow as the concept of "multi-culuralism" itself. Ignore the majority for the benefit of the minority - or am I just one of those middle-class white viewers the BBC has now chosen to ignore in its PC puritanism? The BBC should be privatised and then we can see whether it becomes the minority interest channel it seemingly desperately wants to become.
Andrew, England

It is very ironic that the BBC should decide to change image just after Consignia finally admitted they had bought a pup of a corporate name and would revert to being the Post Office. Is this decision the brainchild of that gentleman (sorry forgotten his name already) recently appointed Chairman? A retrograde step which the Beeb will regret.
Peter Sykes, UK

More politically correct posturing from the BBC. Yes, we are becoming a multiracial society, but the vast majority of our people are 'indigenous white', so why do the idents concentrate on minority ethnic groups? Any chance of Morris Dancers? How about Beefeaters? No? I thought not.
Andy, England

More waste of the licence payers' money (close to 700K according to the papers today). The BBC needs to employ real people with their feet on the ground rather than having ideas to waste more and more money. Is it not time the BBC licence fee was scraped and we had adverts for other things rather than free plugs for BBC products on the channels?
Jonathon D'Souza, UK

Looks like the sort of fluff you would expect to see on ITV

Andy, UK
Looks like the sort of fluff you would expect to see on ITV. I would have thought the BBC would be strong enough to stand its ground and not jump on the PC bandwagon to this extent. When you get members of minority groups complaining about it, is it not obvious that the trend is thankfully dying out. Keep the globe. The balloon globe was very effective.
Andy, UK

Why can't the BBC invest licence fee money on decent programs instead of pointless rebranding?
Andrew C, England

Whatever way you look at it, there is still no justification for the out of date TV Licence Fee.
Gary, UK

I suppose it's the hip-hop ident for Songs of Praise and a bit of ballet for Top of the Pops?
Dan, Southend, UK

Consignia name change, British Airways tail planes. Ring any bells? If it isn't broke, don't fix it!
S Bird, UK

My first impression is that I do not like their deliberate aim at being "multi-cultural"

Eddie Talbot, UK
I will reserve judgement until I have seen how the idents are used in action, however my first impression is that I do not like their deliberate aim at being "multi-cultural". Whilst I am happy with a multi-cultural Britain, I think that TV idents should be exciting and innovative, but not try to make any kind of deliberate political statement. My guess is that in this increasingly fickle world that we live in, these idents won't last anywhere near as long as the older ones. Also, there is apparently no clock anymore, so you'll even see these people prancing around just before the news - oh dear. What would be nice though, is a News 24-style countdown with the same music, now that would be kind of funky!
Eddie Talbot, UK

The balloons showed the world being brought to the UK - a superb image for the nation's first TV channel. I'm saddened by the loss of the globe - although it's good to see that the superb scenery associated with the balloon lives on in the new idents.
Darren, UK

What a disastrous public relations error, even worse than BA's dropping the flag. What on earth was the rationale for change other than to waste more of our licence fee which should go instead to making better and more compelling programmes. The globe symbol of the BBC emphasised its world class broadcasting standards, its power and ambition and its commitment to global news coverage. It was classless, genderless and raceless - yet inclusive and inspiring. It spoke to all powerfully and equally. We haven't yet seen the new stuff but you can be pretty sure it will be dropped within five years as obviously strategically clumsy and already past its sell-by date. It sounds like something Channel 4 would rightly have rejected around 1985. How absolutely patronising and offensive for the stuck-up mandarins of the BBC to try and flog us their multicultural values.

Remember whose money it is your spending on projects like this BBC.

Live and let live, drop all this PC rubbish and just let people get on!

Stuart, UK
Complete tripe - if it isn't broke don't fix it. Why not show fit people rockclimbing or abseiling? why do we have to constantly bow to the PC brigade? People are too scared of seeming to be not PC, which just confounds the problem. No-one should have to tread on the tiptoes for fear of alienating a particular group of people. My friend recently applied for Humberside police and was sent out a pack, in which there was a booklet on the "Black Police Association" Now tell me, if someone started a "White police organisation" they would be branded racist...why? Live and let live, drop all this PC rubbish and just let people get on!
Stuart, UK

Why is such a large amount of the licence fee going towards an unnecessary change of a 5-second clip? Surely it could be spent on something a little more worthwhile. And I liked seeing the part of London I live in under the balloon.
Alex, UK

Good god, you mean that's permanent? I thought maybe it was just a temporary change. Too bad. It makes me physically nauseous to think of all the knuckle-head marketing types up in a room thinking, "My! Now don't these dancing fools of many colours say world to you more than that silly graphic of the globe!" Seems to me to be a bit too glitzy and patronizing. While the definition of this new concept of the world will eventually change, the definition of a big, shiny, rocking, globe of the planet Earth will always mean the world! How about some fresher footage of the same images? Update it with a fresh coat of paint, don't knock it down and rebuild it! Let me tell you, I love my country but that is our motto here and it never works. Knock it down and rebuild it.
Tim, USA

Bring the globe back! Like the rock of Gibraltar, the chiming of Big Ben, the BBC globe provides continuity and calm to an ever-changing world. Just as there will always be an England, there should always be the BBC and its' trademark globe.
Tom V, USA

Keep the globe! The dancing clips look like any American advert for soft drinks. Nothing distinctive or inclusive about them at all. The BBC cannot benefit from a dumbed-down Americanised image.
Arri London, EU/US

If something has worked well for so many years, why change it? I'm led to believe that this, as well as "New Coke" and the new Kit Kat wrap, are just an attempt by some people to justify their jobs by doing something (well, anything).
John Mitsianis, UK

What can be more "all encompassing" than a globe? Looks like the BBC should take a quick look at British Airway's logo fiasco before going too far. But I suspect they will not listen.
Philip, UK

In a changing world, not everything has to change.

simon, England
I too liked the globe, and the 'Globe' balloon. It was calming and relaxing. If anything, the landscapes it traversed should have been broadened. Funny, the fate of Consignia came to my mind, too. In a changing world, not everything has to change; indeed, people need areas of tranquil stability.
simon, England

I just hope there are a reasonable number of portly office workers in the clips. That is, if inclusiveness is the concept behind these changes.
Richard Carr, UK

The BBC is probably the closest thing the world has to global news. Most news outlets, particularly those in the USA, don't report much beyond their countries own borders, or it's countries interests overseas. The globe is by far the best representation of the scope of the BBC's coverage.
Neal, USA/UK

It will be a shame to see the globe go but on the other hand it could be quite a refreshing change to see a new BBC image. One soon gets used to the new identity and I'm sure this will be no exception. But I do feel slightly uneasy at the vast amount of money that will go into this re-branding. Is it really necessary?
John, , UK

The BBC is like any other huge corporation and in fact it's even more important for them to keep their image fresh than most others. But of course you're going to get the usual bunch of moaning minnies (waste of licence money etc). When you think of the new services the BBC have (I think bravely) introduced- Five Live- BBC Four- Radio 6 etc. then I'm amazed how far they make the money go. I don't know anyone who 'hates paying the licence fee' and can someone please explain to me why this move is 'PC' (and what PC actually means while your at it)
ed granger, UK

The globe has always been a part of the BBC brand

James Tandy, UK
Aah, I remember the complaints when the BBC first introduced the balloon. "Why fix something when it ain't broke," I heard them all cry. Sound familiar? However, there is one point that I would like to make about this particular re-branding. The globe has always been a part of the BBC brand. Whilst it is easy to hide inside our little ivory tower, the globe (in whatever form it has taken) has always been a small reminder that the there is a larger world out there - and the BBC broadcasts to all of it.
James Tandy, UK

What, exactly, could be more cosmopolitan than the globe? A great brand should be able to withstand the test of time and the constant tinkering with the BBC image, that has reached even greater levels in recent years, not only wastes money that should be spent on programming, but undermines the BBC's need to present a consistent and coherent image worldwide.
James, UK

I saw a few of clips of the new idents on the breakfast programme this morning and I have to say I really quite liked them. Cheerful and interesting. Also, to those who are moaning, I would say: get a sense of proportion! It's only a video clip between programmes, not the end of the world! If you put as much effort into enjoying life as you put into moaning about it, I'm sure you'd be much happier people...

Another retrograde step. The globe was aesthetically pleasing and offensive to nobody. The fact that no people were shown also made it peaceful. I personally find this change rather condescending - did viewers object previously? You can bet your red cotton socks they will now! Why don't you use our money to provide decent programs instead of wasting it in this needless way?
mogbeast, UK

When I go abroad on holiday I always feel rather envious at the way other countries have kept their identity and traditions. We are rapidly loosing all of ours. What expresses our multi-cultural society more than the globe? Bad mistake I think!
Linda Blake, England

What exactly does a bunch of 'multicultural' soppy dancers have to do with BBC One?

James P, UK
I liked the balloon idents. They were getting a bit repetitive, but couldn't the BBC have simply filmed some more idents with the balloon at new locations? The new clips look awful. And the globe theme could still live on by having globe patterned t-shirts on the dancers. It's political correctness gone stark raving mad, and what exactly does a bunch of 'multicultural' soppy dancers have to do with BBC One? Yet again the BBC is dumbing down, and turns itself into a laughing stock.
James P, UK

The fact that everybody is forced to pay a TV License for something they don't necessarily actually want is blackmail. The BBC should be owned and run by the people who finance it... us! This debacle is just another inept waste of money, and for what? The BBC is still going to be called the BBC - and it will still be Channel 1 on my TV irrelevant of what gets shown in between programmes. Just a ridiculous waste of license fee payers money!!
F Webb, UK

I think that maybe if they stopping wasting money on rebranding themselves and used that money to start making decent programmes again then people might start watching more of the BBC. In the meantime, a new fancy logo is just not enough to make me change channels I'm afraid!
Jane, UK

If you're finished with the balloon can I have it?
John Caulfield, England

If it ain't broke don't fix it

Jon Cooper, UK
I'll have to wait until I've seen it to judge, but in the week when we hear Consignia is backtracking on its rebranding, is this really a good idea? If it ain't broke don't fix it....
Jon Cooper, UK

Absolutely ridiculous. It looks just like another sop to the PC brigade if you ask me. What a waste of money - and you ask why people hate paying the TV Licence?!
Ian, UK

I'm a graphic designer and I believe they have made a depressing mistake. There is no more 'global' symbol than the globe. I smell dumbing-down, too ... they have parochialised the idents.
Patsy Parker, UK

I liked the globe. It reflects the global perspective of the BBC. Its replacement by these frivolous, meaningless images is typical of the vacuous political philosophy of New Labour. It is reminiscent of that other New Labour triumph, the Millenium Dome. Its portrayal of various minority groups (of whom I am one) has no real meaning and will not alter British society or its attitudes in any way. It is just political correctness run riot. As a license fee payer, I object strongly to this pitiful and wasteful exercise in social engineering and politically correct propaganda.
G Y Shin, London, UK

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Talking Point stories