Axe looms over 12m cable blitz

The future of the Cable Communications Association’s 12m generic marketing and advertising campaign is in doubt after being put on hold until next year.

A second burst of advertising, following on from the Dawn French-fronted campaign launched in March, was due to run this month. The CCA has now issued a second brief to its agency, J Walter Thompson, and is hoping to get agree ment from its members for a new burst of activity in the new year.

JWT, which has been worried about losing the CCA business, has replaced the original account team and put managing director Stephen Carter in charge of the account.

The decision to put the campaign on hold was taken at a meeting of CCA members last week.

The cable operators that make up the CCA are known to have been under pressure from programmers about the lack of new subscribers the campaign has generated.

“First the CCA said it was to drive penetrations,” says a cable industry source. “Then after that didn’t happen, it claimed it was just about raising awareness. The programmers are very disappointed.”

Internal CCA research has shown that the Dawn French creative treatment turned off some groups of viewers (MW August 30) and she is expected to be axed from the campaign.

The cable industry has come in for sustained criticism for failing to market itself effectively, compared with the success of satellite TV. The 12m CCA campaign had been hailed by those groups involved as the turning point in the marketing of the medium.

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