The Radio Rose of Texas by Derek Burroughs, jr.

Revised Februar 26th, 2007

 

Chapter 9: Sales and ratings.

 

A very important player in the drama around the Olga Patricia stations was Radiovision Broadcasts(International)Ltd. the radio advertising arm of Pearl and Dean, who handled cinema advertising. RBI had been formed as late as January, 1966 to assist with ABC TV and radio station(USA) marketing in the UK and the Continent. Peir-Vick Ltd. alias Bill Vick had given them an exclusive contract for advertising sales, and on June 17th they threw a very large party at the Savoy for would-be clients, with 250 guests[1].

 

 

Pearl and Dean early emerged as key figure in the Olga Patricia operation. Pearl and Dean had set up RBI in January of 1966 to represent 44 commercial radio stations owned by ABC International TV, Inc. in Britain and the Continent, and through Bill Vick, they added SRE/BR to their portfolio as exclusive sales representatives. Don Pierson very much disagreed with this move. WPN&AR April 22th, 1966. ©Eric Gilder. Used by permission.

 

 

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A presentation leaflet of Pearl and Dean’s subsidary Radiovision Broadcast International from April, 1966. There are 4 VERY large pages meaning 8 sections. Of RBI’s people we note Colin Brown, mentioned in SRE ad promos as well as Basil Van Rensburg, later to appear in key roles with Radio Dolfijn and Radio 227. The other names are: Peter Banham, John Cross, Diana Good Dixon, John Havard-Davies and Stuart Littlepage. Note also the famous picture of the SRE ”Boss Jocks” was also published in the Daily Sketch of May, 5th, 1966, see above. ©Eric Gilder. Used by permission.

 

 

Front page of SRE/BR Twin Stations Rate Card. Reproduced in its entirety in Offshore Echos #117, April 2000.

 

 

To get an idea of the ad prices, look at the inside of SRE/BR Twin Stations Rate Card. Photo from the Pierson family collection, kindly provided by ©Grey Pierson.

 

 

Press release by Radio Caroline, July, 1966. National Opinion Poll survey also show strong listenership for Radio England and Britain Radio. Normally, 2,2 and 0.7 Million listeners would be a good result for commercial radio stations today being able to find a niche. From ©Hans Knot’s archive.

 

 

Radio Dolfijn rate card montage. From the ©Hans Knot’s archive.

 

 

1% in the ratings. Dutch listener survey from January-Februar 1967. From ©Hans Knot’s archive.

 

“Little market research was done by any of the offshore stations during the last few months of the pirate era. Unsubstansiated figures suggested that Radio 355 had 2.25 million listenership at the time of the station’s demise.“[2]

 

Ad clients[3].

 

Smith’s Crunch

Silexene Paint

Crazy Foam

Harry Fenton Fashion Center

H.Reynolds&sons Tilbury, Gravesend and Chapel St.Mary. TV Rentals

Noxene Skin CrŹme

Kent cigarettes

Tippin “Where did I put that sixpence”

Fabulous Magazine

Sunbake bakeware(Multi-language)

Colgate

Oscar’s Groovy Grotto

Weetabix

Keele Insurance

Reveille

Kelloggs

Silver Boots from …shoes 475 Oxford Street, and Gumages, Holborn

Family Pack. Soup from Cross&Blackwell

Golden Kipper

Tartan Racing Pools, c/o Radio Scotland/Racing pools agents, c/o Radio England

Inter-Cham

Big Fry Picnic

Bakery

Uppercut Club of Billy Walker

London's Edgeware Road-Victoria Sporting Club

Silver Circle Bingo Club at 1200-1215

 

Clifton Sales Room: Mail order sold from 32 Curzon Street

 

Transwave Sony 7

Cocktail Watch

Fishing Set

Permashort razor blades

Stars paintings

Camera Offer

 



[1] When it was clear that SRE was not a success, RBI was commissioned to make a report about the future of the 227 wavelength.

 

Obviously from this lengthy and faded report the change on 227 was in the works and the competition was seen as Radio Veronica. A complete study of Radio Veronica was therefore made and this is in the report which contains these chapter headings:

 

1.  RBI Brief and Introduction

2.  What competitors exist at present - Physical and Social

3.  What market is available

4.  Sales representation

5.  Alternative sales representation

6.  Proposed name for the new commercial radio station

7.  Advertising agency and client reaction

8.  Conclusions

9.  Summary

10. Sources of information and acknowledgements

 

Under 6 it says:

 

"Experience in the UK has shown that offshore stations who title themselves with their wavelength, eg Radio 390 and Radio 270, benefit most from editorial publicity as their frequencies are always announced with their titles.

 

"Whilst names such as Radio Holland or Holland Radio appear to be obvious choices, we are told that there are at present Dutch radio companies operating under those names. These companies are service houses who hire out freelance radio operators and equipment to ships.

 

"It is suggested that the name of the new station be Radio 227. Press publicity announcing the opening of the station would immediately identify the frequency."

 

There is no date on this report which sees the competitor as Radio Veronica, but states that the big problem will be advertising budgets already decided for 1967 and therefore immediate switch should be made in the hope of getting some undecided budgets. The main impact of SRE is West Holland and it says that Luxembourg has lost its Dutch advertising to Veronica and a Swedish competitor was thinking about starting an offshore station:

 

"The radio executive of de Lar Mar informed me that he had heard of a Swedish interest who are thinking of establishing an offshore radio station."(©Eric Gilder. Used with permission.)

 

-This report of September(?) 1966 proposes a Dutch Radio 227 to replace Radio England.. However, soon after, in Mid-October, it is announced on Radio England that Radio Holland will broadcast on 227. And when we see November 14th, the name is Radio Dolfijn!. Why?-editor.

 

[2] ©Robert Chapman, p.154.

[3] To compare with Radio London, go to  http://www.hansknot.com/london.htm