JMB&A wins 15m brief for Telewest

Cable company Telewest has awarded its 15m advertising account to newly Formed Jones Mason Barton & Antenen (JMB&A).

This is the first major win for the direct marketing agency, which is a jointly owned BMP DDB and Claydon Heeley start-up launched last month (MW January 14).

JMB&A took the account from GGT Direct, which has held the business since 1997. Prior to that, the account had been handled by a variety of agencies.

A spokesman at Telewest says: “We enjoyed working with GGT Direct, but we thought a change was needed as we approached our entry into digital.”

Telewest also looked at its media arrangements last week, but decided to stay with incumbent, Media Insight.

The work is part of a root-and-branch review of suppliers, instigated by new chief executive Tony Illsley, ahead of the company’s digital service launch, which is planned for the autumn. The company also runs telephony services.

Illsley joined the company last September, after leaving his role as president of Walkers Snack Foods. His remit is to bring a marketing focus to the company. Illsley replaced former chief executive Stephen Davidson who stood down as chief executive in April.

Telewest became the UK’s largest cable company in December last year, taking over from Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC). This came about when Telewest bought rivals General Cable and Birmingham Cable for 130m.

These acquisitions gave Telewest 900,000 subscribers, compared with CWC’s 800,000. The next largest player is NTL, which has about 700,000 customers.

Late last year Telewest signed a joint venture with NTL to set up a pay-per-view sports channel, called Front Row.

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