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BBC World has launched a campaign to persuade U.S. cable operators to begin carrying its 24-hour news station — a campaign that is playing out in three U.S. cities: Los Angeles; Columbus, Ohio; and San Diego.

From a Los Angeles Times story this week:

BBC World executives are now hoping to make inroads in the U.S. through a campaign aimed at prodding viewers to demand that their cable and satellite providers distribute the network.

The thrust of their message: that American networks are failing to satisfy the audience’s appetite for foreign news.

“We’ve had a wealth of research, which clearly demonstrates there is a real thirst for unbiased international news,” said Annabel Cameron, head of marketing for BBC World. “A lot of the feedback we’ve been getting is that people are very much seeking depth of analysis and impartiality in terms of the coverage and they feel they aren’t getting that from their U.S. news providers.”

To bolster its argument, the network notes that nearly two-thirds of the 19 million people who visit BBCNews.com every month are based in the U.S., according to internal research statistics.

Los Angeles is one of the main targets of BBC World’s marketing campaign, which is employing novel tactics to capture the public’s attention. Beginning today, Angelenos will find more than 200 oversized puzzle pieces in the shape of countries like Iran, China and Sudan propped up in high-traffic areas around the city.

I haven’t seen any of this campaign around town yet. Have you? Let me know and send in photos if you have.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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