New subsidiary to target clients by providing access across diverse platforms such as cable TV, phones and the internet PCCW has formed a new advertising subsidiary called PCCW Media to integrate all its content distribution channels and provide a cross-media platform for clients as part of an aggressive diversification strategy. The telecommunications group has hired advertising veteran Morris Ho Kwok-fai as managing director for the new venture which would co-ordinate media such as cable TV, phones and the internet. 'We will make use of PCCW's distribution networks such as NOW Broadband TV, now.com.hk, SMS phones, Yellow Pages, public telephone booths and telephone exchanges to attract clients,' Mr Ho said yesterday. 'PCCW will not need to invest too much in the venture. We are just offering an integrated solution for advertisers and dollar gains from the subsidiary will directly turn into profit.' Mr Ho said his first duty would be to analyse PCCW's various media platforms, then work out bundling plans to package diverse media for clients. 'Our key platform should be NOW [broadband] TV, making use of its unique interactive functions to offer novel advertising opportunities,' he said, noting the medium's growing subscriber base. 'For example, clients can host an interactive quiz during the TV programme as a way to promote its products,' he said. Such features were very popular in the United States and Europe but there was room for growth in the Hong Kong market, he said. Data from Zenith Optimedia showed that last year, television media accounted for some 39 per cent of total advertising spending in Hong Kong. Of this amount, Television Broadcasts (TVB) controlled about 75 per cent, Asia Television (ATV) about 20 per cent, while pay-TV provider i-Cable Communications was responsible for the balance. Mr Ho said PCCW Media would complement, rather than compete with, traditional media platforms. However a media analyst at a local brokerage said the company would be directly chasing after scarce pay-TV revenues, noting that i-Cable had advertising revenues last year of only about $150 million. 'PCCW Media should have no impact on TVB and other traditional media,' said the analyst. Observers also pointed out that NOW TV's low paid-user base may deter clients from committing advertising dollars to it. 'Many NOW subscribers do not pay for the channels, meaning clients may doubt the response rate,' said one media manager who declined to be named. PCCW Media also planned to use the group's public telephone booths and telephone exchange towers to generate advertising income, Mr Ho said. Mr Ho has worked in the advertising and media industry for more than 20 years for companies including JWalter Thompson, Next Media and Sing Tao News. He left Sing Tao last year and established an advertising company with Korea's Samwoo Telecom called Play Media.