Believe in public broadcasting? Then lend Save7 a creative hand

Public broadcasting is getting a pretty rough ride at the moment. Radio New Zealand has had its funding frozen for five years, TVNZ6 has been axed and TVNZ7 is on the chopping block, while The GC, New Zealand’s Got Talent and possibly even Sally and Jaime Ridge get the government’s cash. But there is a group doing its best to ensure there remains an appropriate balance between commercial and public broadcasting in New Zealand and Save 7 is hoping to enlist some creative assistance from those in the marcomms community who believe in the cause and can help spread the message about the need for a government U-turn.


  • The government has opted to cease funding TVNZ7 in June 2012 at which time TVNZ will replace the current affairs, politics, arts, rural, documentary and news channel with TV1 + “plus one” programming.
  • The Save 7 campaign is headed by Myles Thomas of Auckland with the support a group of people who are dedicated to saving public service television in New Zealand.
  • The campaign is apolitical – its function is focused on saving the channel.
  • The Save7 website and Facebook page provides relevant information about the issue.
  • Almost 20,000 people have so far signed the petition to Save 7 (as of 9.5.12).
  • Save7 is receiving donations from the public to assist in spreading the campaign message and to promote public meetings throughout New Zealand.


  • Most people including those from the public and private sectors recognise that there needs to be a balance between commercial and public service broadcasting.
  • TVNZ7 is well established, has developed an effective format and offers quality content (relevant to New Zealanders, it is topical and lively).
  • TVNZ7 has a strong following that attracts a wide and very dedicated audience of 1.4M per month (approx 1M per week).
  • Many in the commercial sector recognise the value and need for a non commercial public service option to offer balance and content for a wider audience.
  • Supporting the survival of TVNZ7 aligns with principles of CSR and recognition of the public good.
  • It could justifiably be argued that providing access to a public broadcasting option benefits commercial broadcasters by upholding balance and keeping those who would normally turn the TV off due to lack of interest, switched on and therefore increase the propensity for them to channel hop onto commercial stations.

The challenge

For creative agencies and individuals to create an ad concept to raise public awareness and stall closure of TVNZ7 (public service television) in June 2012 as a result of the government’s refusal to continue funding for the channel. A text and/or graphics ad concept that powerfully encapsulates and forcefully presents the Save 7 message. Ads could possibly run in a series depending on budget. Other forms of creative (images, video or whatever carries the message also welcome).

Key messages

Option 1.

  1. Save TVNZ7
  2. New Zealand’s only public service, commercial-free television channel
  3. Audience of 1.4M per month
  4. Act now

Option 2.

  1. Why is the government pulling funding on TVNZ7
  2. New Zealand’s only public service, commercial free television channel
  3. Audience of 1.4M per month
  4. Act now

Option 3.

  1. Open to ideas

Ads should ideally contain reference to:

  1. Web site address – www.issues.co.nz/savetvnz7
  2. Number of viewers – 1.4M per month
  3. Reference to closing down in June 2012
  4. Channel number on free to air (7) and SKY (77)
  5. Reference to public meetings
  6. Reference to signing petition

Note: It’s the Big Idea that counts so you are welcome to supply rough visual concepts for feedback during development.

Target audience
National, all demographic groups but weighted towards TVNZ7’s main audience of ‘educated and conscious viewers’.

Press/Mag – ads are primary requirement
Online – have website and Facebook page
Posters – Existing but would adapt to new creative
Flyers – Existing but would adapt to new creative
Merchandise – Existing but would adapt to new creative

The reward

  • Pro bono publico, although there will be adulation, kudos, respect and appreciation from the 1.4 million viewers who don’t want to see public service television as we know it die an untimely, unwarranted and unnatural death.
  • Reference to the agency’s assistance placed on all publicity carrying their creative.
  • $200 towards a meal for the creative team.
  • Creative concepts of all entries placed on Save7 website (if possible)


Creative challenge: John Maidment [email protected]

Save7 Spokesperson: Myles Thomas [email protected]

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