Four contest 10m NTL brand awareness push

NTL, the UK cable, telecoms and Internet company which has just sold a five per cent stake to Microsoft, has shortlisted four agencies to pitch for its ad account, believed to be worth over 10m.

The company, the UK’s third largest cable operator, is understood to have shortlisted McCann-Erickson, J Walter Thompson, Banks Hoggins O’Shea/FCB and Arc. The brief is thought to include building the NTL brand name and raising awareness of the company among consumers. NTL owns interests across a range of communications industries, and recently took a stake in Newcastle United Football Club.

The company is rebranding its cable operations known as Cabletel, and hired Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy to run a 3m re branding campaign in 1997 (MW July 10 1997). It has also worked with agency CKMP on a branding campaign.

The deal struck this week with Microsoft gives the software giant a five per cent stake in NTL worth 300m.

The companies will operate a strategic partnership to build services over NTL’s broadband services, allowing advanced Internet applications to be fed directly into viewers’ homes.

NTL is listed on the New York NASDAQ stock market, though its main operations are in the UK where it has over 1.4 million telephone, cable TV and Internet customers.

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