Telewest awards GGT 15m brief

Telewest, the UK cable operator, has appointed GGT and its below-the-line arm, GGT Direct, to handle a 15m national brand-building campaign pushing its telephone services.

GGT won the account after competing head on with the Lowe Group, which last year set up its own below-the-line division, Lowe Direct, using senior staff poached from GGT.

Two other agency groups were earlier dropped from the pitchlist – EURO RSCG Wnek Gosper with Evans Hunt Scott Eurocom, and Maher Bird Associates with Simons Palmer Clemmow Johnson.

Telewest employs an array of below-the-line agencies, and was using McCann-Erickson on a project basis.

The GGT campaign will take on BT with a “broad branding, planning and marketing” campaign, accor-ding to Telewest’s vice-president of marketing Sam Howe. The company will seek to attract more telephone customers.

GGT says there is no conflict with its client, video rental chain Block-buster, which earlier stopped it pitching for Channel 5.

Telewest covers nearly 4 million homes in its regional franchise areas, and says it has about 500,000 television customers.

Last summer, Telewest launched a campaign called Teleplus, to attract BT customers by offering discounts of up to 21 per cent.

GGT may delay its relisting on the stock market until March, due to the legal process of “due diligence” taking longer than expected. GGT’s shares were suspended in Sep-tember after it announced it had bought French agency network BDDP for 110m.

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