Saatchi scoops £15m Telewest digital launch

Cable operator Telewest Communications has awarded Saatchi & Saatchi its £15m ad account as it prepares to launch a number of digital and interactive services.

Cable operator Telewest Communications has awarded Saatchi & Saatchi its &£15m ad account as it prepares to launch a number of digital and interactive services.

Saatchi won the business last week after a pitch against Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R and Lowe Lintas. The process was handled by the AAR.

Previous incumbent Jones Mason Barton Antenen, now renamed Claydon Heeley Barton Antenen, has run regional ads and direct marketing campaigns in Telewest’s seven cable franchise areas.

Telewest spent &£5m last year on advertising, but is understood to be increasing its spend to support the launch of new services. Media Insight handles media buying for the cable operator.

Telewest called the review earlier this year in anticipation of the launch of digital TV and interactive services, including home shopping under the Active Digital brand, and a range of telephony deals.

Cable operators have been criticised for poor marketing and failing to attract more subscribers. The three operators – Cable & Wireless and NTL (which are poised to merge) and Telewest – have signed up 3.1 million households – just 25 per cent of 12.3 million homes “passed” by cable.

However, the cable companies believe the launch of digital and interactive services and the broadband capabilities of cable will allow them to make great strides in coming years.

Telewest is merging with Flextech, which it hopes will give it access to stronger TV channels. Wolf Ollins has been appointed to develop a new name and brand identity for the merged group.

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