Marcopolo Mints, made by Rowntree for British Satellite Broadcasting in 1990.
The mints were given out by British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) in lieu of change-of-address cards when BSB moved from their temporary facilities to Marcopolo House in Battersea, South London in August of 1990. BSB’s new marble and glass building, designed by postmodern architect Ian Pollard, was named after BSB’s satellites, Marcopolo 1 and 2.
Commissioning Rowntree to make these custom mints was typical of BSB’s flamboyant marketing strategy, and in their own small way, the mints are exemplary of what critics described as BSB’s ‘gold-plated best-of-everything approach’.
Public-service-minded BSB and commercial competition Sky Television were forced to merge in November 1990 to form BSkyB. Marcopolo House was sold, and BSB’s five channels were largely scrapped in favour of Sky Television's channels.