Cable group axes 12m joint push

The cable industry has ditched its joint marketing initiative, prompting marketing director Mike Hayes’s resignation from the Cable Communications Association.

The 12 cable operators who fund the CCA have decided it will no longer co-ordinate the industry’s generic marketing. Industry sources doubt if any joint marketing effort will be done outside the CCA.

The CCA’s 12m ad account, held by J Walter Thompson, no longer exists and the agency is waiting to hear if any of the individual operators will require its services.

Hayes joined the CCA in January 1995 when the decision was first taken for it to co-ordinate the industry’s advertising and marketing budget. He was formerly marketing director for Nintendo. Hayes says he is in discussion about a number of marketing roles in the new media or communications sectors.

JWT was appointed to the account in September 1995 and its campaign, starring Dawn French, broke in March this year.

Internal CCA research showed the campaign “turned off” viewers (MW August 30) and Hayes has admitted that the campaign failed to provide consumers with a motivation to get connected.

The second burst of the campaign, scheduled for September, was pulled amid doubts about the future of the account (MW September 20).

The final blow for the generic marketing approach came two weeks ago when Nynex, Bell Cablemedia and Videotron joined forces in a merger with Cable & Wireless to become Cable & Wireless Communications (MW October 25).

TeleWest and C&W, which dominate the sector, are not thought likely to co-operate on marketing. TeleWest is close to appointing an agency for its own 4m campaign.

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