Telewest plans 4m campaign

Telewest, Britain’s largest cable operator, is looking for an advertising agency for a 4m campaign to market and build its brand.

Telewest has been operating as United Artists Communications in 16 franchises and Cable North West and Cable Midlands in two more. It was renamed Telewest on July 1.

Besides cable television, Telewest is also an aggressive force in cable telephony. This week it launches its hard-hitting Teleplus campaign aimed at wooing BT customers by offering discounts of up to 21 per cent.

Vice-president of residential marketing Sam Howe says Telewest is searching for an agency to handle the campaign for “broad branding, planning and marketing”, in 1997.

Telewest, which covers 3.7 million homes in its regional franchises, has several agencies which handle advertising and direct marketing on a regional basis. “It’s a branding campaign targeted nationally. But we’re not looking for an agency of record,” says Howe.

The group says it has a total of 487,079 television customers, up 91 per cent from last year. However, penetration – the proportion of homes that subscribe to cable service from those who are offered it – remained flat at 21.1 per cent.

Second quarter results for Telewest saw net losses rise by 208 per cent to 64.2m.

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