Virgin’s Stockwell tipped to oversee NTL rebrand

Virgin is expected to parachute in its top brand marketer to oversee the rebranding of cable giant NTL Incorporated’s consumer brands.

Ashley Stockwell, Virgin’s group brand marketing director, has been tipped to join once NTL, which merged with rival Telewest earlier this year, has formally acquired Virgin Mobile.

He currently reports to Virgin Group brand development and corporate affairs director Will Whitehorn, but is believed to be moving to a marketing director role at NTL, once the sale is formally completed.

Under the agreement between NTL and Virgin announced last week, NTL has entered a 30-year exclusive deal with Virgin Enterprises for the use of the Virgin brand across the cable operator’s consumer business.

It was also announced that Virgin Mobile’s operating business would continue to be led by its current management team, and that a marketing director from Virgin “was intended” to join, bringing brand expertise to the management team.

Stockwell was appointed group brand marketing director four years ago (MW July 18, 2002). Previously, he was managing director of the group’s internet portal Virgin.com.

Stockwell is expected to oversee the rebranding of NTL and Telewest to Virgin-branded businesses. The cable company has said it will take up to a year to rebrand its consumer operations, and is concentrating on integrating the NTL and Telewest teams.

An NTL corporate spokeswoman says there will be no announcements on marketing team arrangements until regulatory processes concerning the sale are completed. These are expected to take several months.Virgin Group was unavailable for comment.

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