If you follow Charlie Brooker on Twitter you might have spent Saturday evening reading his 140-character rants about the wasteful cost of BBC trailers:
Last night at around 4am I got irrationally angry about how much the BBC spends on promo trails for shows.
Hadn’t even seen a trail to prompt it. It was during a conversation on a night shoot.
It’s not that the trails are bad, just that they cost so much fucking money. SO MUCH FUCKING MONEY.
I reckon the BBC could’ve made Avatar for the amount they spend on trails for shows each year.
They could definitely keep BBC4 afloat. Fuck, they could probably shoot all the BBC4 shows with a gold camera for that money.
Every time I see a glossy trailer on the BBC I see banknotes being shat into a burning dustbin.
Once turned up to record a trail for Screenwipe. Massive hangar-size studio, huge crew. Could never afford that in the show itself. Never.
To clarify: not talking about trails made up of clips from shows. I mean this sort of thing (random example):
MONEY IN A BIN:
MORE MONEY IN A BIN:
(Incidentally, I believe those last two were part of a very expensive Radio 1 campaign that never even saw the light of day, so nobody had a chance to watch Zane Lowe setting off explosive bags of flour and think, ‘I know, I’ll give Radio 1 a listen’.)
Let’s face it, he’s got a point. The BBC are threatening to close down BBC4 because of lack of funding, so when you see this somewhat indulgent approach to getting people to watch/listen to its programming it does rather stick in the throat.
What I don’t understand is why they cost so much when the programmes have relatively tiny budgets. People in TV often complain about the amount of money that sloshes around this industry, but how come they can produce an hour of TV for the price of a minute of advertising?
Surely it’s questions like this that are behind the reductions in advertising budgets. And the natural conclusion of that has to be much less cash in the industry.