Cable & Wireless shuns star shops

Cable and Wireless Communications has stunned the three prominent agencies pitching for its business by appointing Rapier Stead and Bowden to run its pounds 25 million consumer launch campaign this autumn.

Cable and Wireless Communications has stunned the three prominent

agencies pitching for its business by appointing Rapier Stead and Bowden

to run its pounds 25 million consumer launch campaign this autumn.



Rapier - which ranks 150th in Campaign’s top 300 agency list with

above-the-line billings of just pounds 3.23 million - beat Saatchi and

Saatchi, Bartle Bogle Hegarty and HHCL and Partners to one of the

biggest advertising accounts awarded this year.



The brief covers a television, press and poster blitz designed to turn

CWC, which was formed by the merger of Bell Cablemedia, Mercury

Communications, Nynex CableComms and Videotron in March, into a

household name.



CWC claims to be the biggest integrated supplier of telecoms and TV

services in the UK and is planning to tackle its main rival, BT, head

on. BT has increased its advertising spend to at least pounds 80 million

a year, and CWC is planning to match that with a total marketing spend

of up to pounds 100 million over the next 12 months.



Ruth Blakemore, the marketing director of CWC, worked with Rapier in her

previous role as the executive director of marketing at Bell

Cablemedia.



The agency also created CWC’s ’soft launch’ to institutional investors

and business leaders last month (Campaign, 13 June).



Blakemore said she was ’bowled over’ by the quality of work

presented.



She commented: ’Our decision to appoint Rapier is a credit to its

approach to the account as well as to its creativity. I’m looking

forward to working closely with Rapier to build a team, comprising

in-house and agency people, across a range of disciplines.’



She added that Rapier would be the main above-the-line agency, but that

other shops might be appointed to different projects.



Jonathan Stead, the chief executive of Rapier, said he was planning to

take on up to ten new people as a result of the win. ’It’s the start of

a long-term relationship - there’s no doubt about that,’ he said.



Michaelides and Bednash will continue to work on media strategy and the

Media Business Group on buying, using International Poster Management

for outdoor.



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