Cable TV campaign is a ‘turn off’ for viewers

The cable TV industry is reviewing its 12m generic marketing campaign following internal research that its ads, starring Dawn French, have turned off viewers.

The Cable Communications Association, which is running the campaign through J Walter Thompson, says the campaign is now part of a “strategy review”.

The rethink has stemmed from internal research conducted after the advertising campaign broke in March, featuring French as a megalomaniac spokeswoman.

Results of the research are understood to show that French’s character appealed to under-35s but those in the older age bracket were “turned off” by her.

However, the association claimed in June that it had received 125,000 calls on its cable hotline during its Get Connected campaign, fronted by French (MW June 14).

The campaign, co-ordinated through the CCA with the support of major cable operators and programmers – including CableTel, Bell Cablemedia and Telewest – runs until the end of the year with a second phase planned to start in September.

The CCA’s marketing director, Mike Hayes, refused to comment on the future of the cable TV campaign.

One source close to the association says: “The situation four weeks ago was that they were in two minds on what to do. Rather than drop Dawn French, they might go down another route.”

French’s agent would not say whether the comedienne was still involved in the campaign.

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