The move comes three years after NTL and Telewest completed their merger and acquired Virgin Mobile, to become part of the Virgin Media Group in a 30-year branding deal. NTL:Telewest Business is the last part of the business to take on the Virgin brand name.
Branson says the new Vigin Media Business unit will “shake up the UK business telecoms market” and will build on the success that NTL:Telewest’s consumer-facing business has experienced over the past three years, helping to “complete” the Virgin Media brand with “one common offering.”
The company says it is increasing investment in its network and provisioning functions to become the clear alternative to BT. It will also run a major advertising campaign to ensure customers are aware of its business offerings. However, Branson refused to rule out paying BT for access to its high speed broadband tunnels.
ATL will be strategically placed regional advertorial supplements, online advertising across the IT and trade press, public sector advertorials, national billboard advertising. Print advertising will follow.
Virgin Media Business will operate from 40 offices located across the UK, in order to “deliver a highly personalised service to mid-market enterprises and the public sector.”
It plans to set new standards for the industry, by capitalising on the customer service heritage of the Virgin brand.
Neil Berkett, CEO of Virgin Media, says he wants to exploit what he considers to be broadband’s “best kept secret”.
“Our next generation consumer services, in broadband and video on demand, are unrivalled in speed and quality of service. There is now a significant opportunity to leverage the full power of our fibre optic network in the business telecoms market. Virgin Media Business will take our strong customer-centric approach to a growing and under-served market in which there is a need for a compelling and distinctive alternative to BT,” he says.
Mark Heraghty, managing director of Virgin Media Business, adds: “We have big ambitions for Virgin Media Business. Delivering fabulous fundamentals – great service, good quality and value for money – is at the heart of our strategy. Over the last three years we’ve invested heavily to put the building blocks in place, which means we’re more than fit to wear the Virgin badge.”
NTL:Telewest’s incumbent agencies include Start Creative, Rapier and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R.