NTL hands JWT pounds 10m brands blitz

Britain’s third-largest cable group, NTL, has appointed J. Walter Thompson to handle a massive advertising drive aimed at making it a household name.

Britain’s third-largest cable group, NTL, has appointed J. Walter

Thompson to handle a massive advertising drive aimed at making it a

household name.



NTL’s interests have broadened considerably since it started as a

regional TV and telephony operation five years ago. It now owns a

national network supplying a quarter of all cabled homes in the UK and

the towers used to transmit all three commercial terrestrial TV

stations.



Other interests include a stake in Newcastle United football club and

the forthcoming launch of the only internet company to offer services

through TV sets.



Mike Hounsell, NTL’s newly appointed director of group marketing, said:

’NTL’s marketing strategy for 1999 is clear. It’s the year we cut

through consumer confusion over digital and show people the real

benefits of digital technology.’



JWT will be NTL’s first group agency and will handle all strategic

advertising.



CKMP, the incumbent on the group’s residential and internet divisions,

has been retained for product-related advertising and is unaffected by

the appointment. A decision has not yet been made on media, which is

handled by Carat.



JWT’s chief executive officer, Stephen Carter, said: ’Opportunities like

this come along once in a lifetime.’



JWT pitched against Banks Hoggins O’Shea FCB, McCann-Erickson and Arc

Advertising for the business, which is estimated to be worth around

pounds 10 million.



An NTL spokesman said the need for a strategic advertising agency had

become more apparent as the group’s activities had moved closer to the

consumer. She described JWT’s brief as ’to try to bring in the different

strands of the business and position us as a national player’.



NTL has also appointed the design and marketing agency, Basten Greenhill

Andrews, to come up with a new corporate identity for the group.



Staff numbers at the Hampshire headquarters of NTL have tripled over the

past 12 months, during which time the software giant, Microsoft, became

a strategic partner, taking a 5 per cent stake in the business.



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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).