C&W poised to hire sales house

Cable & Wireless is on the verge of appointing a sales house to handle interactive advertising on its internet sites following a 50 per cent increase in subscribers to its digital service.

Cable & Wireless is on the verge of appointing a sales house to

handle interactive advertising on its internet sites following a 50 per

cent increase in subscribers to its digital service.



The chosen sales house will receive a brief to sell advertising on C&W’s

main interactive menu, internet sites and e-mail service.



Sales on the 34 content pages - which are already up and running - will

remain the responsibility of service providers, which include British

Airways and Loot. However, C&W is keen to start handling sponsorship on

these websites.



C&W digital services offer viewers a basic package of channels as well

as internet, e-mail, home shopping, pay-per-view films and a telephone

line.



Following the launch of the digital service last July, C&W has increased

its digital subscriber base to a total of 100,000 homes - an increase of

50 per cent.



The interactive service was first launched in the Manchester region and

is now available in 1.5 million homes in and around C&W’s franchise

areas.



These include Cheshire, Surrey and Sussex, Hertfordshire and Kent.



The telecommunications company is aiming to further expand across the UK

in the coming months.



Martin Graham-Scott, head of broadcast public relations at C&W,

commented: ’Our digital service may be similar to BSkyB’s in terms of

its content, but it is a totally different launch when compared with

both ONdigital and Sky. We are rolling out by franchise area and at a

slower pace. There’s no doubt that digital is a motivating factor behind

consumers’ interest in cable.’



C&W’s consumer division manager Adrian Chamberlain said that more than

50 per cent of subscribers who can access the interactive services have

already signed up for the e-mail service.



Meanwhile, Telewest - C&W’s main competitor - has said it plans to

increase its subscriber base to 500,000 over the next 12 months.

Telewest launched its service last October.



NTL, another rival cable operator, will unveil its digital services in

May once improvements in technology allow its systems to go digital.



Separately, NTL will take over C&W’s residential cable assets subject to

government approval. The decision is due on 25 February.



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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).