Cable & Wireless Communications, the UK’s largest cable TV and
telecoms company, is reviewing its pounds 50 million media planning and
buying, just seven months after appointing the Media Business,
Michaelides & Bednash, and the poster specialist, IMP.
Five agencies have been shortlisted alongside the incumbents and the
final shoot-out is expected to comprise two in a head-to-head pitch.
The review began at the end of last year, when agencies were approached
by the media consultant, Andrew Melsom, from Agency Insight. However,
the identity of the client was kept under wraps.
Now it has emerged that a number of management changes at CWC, and the
fact that the company’s launch phase advertising is over, have prompted
a rethink of its media strategy.
Melsom is understood to have been drafted in by CWC’s chief operating
officer, Greg Clarke, and its marketing director, Helen Burt, to advise
on the company’s post-launch advertising and marketing strategy.
Burt was promoted from brand communications director to marketing
director in July, replacing Ruth Blakemore. It was Blakemore who had
been responsible for the appointment of Michaelides & Bednash, the Media
Business and CWC’s creative agency of record, Rapier.
Burt is said to be keen to take a fresh look at the company’s agencies
because the initial appointments were made under the time pressure of a
September launch for CWC, formed from the merger of Mercury
Communications with the cable companies, Nynex, Videotron and Bell
Cablemedia last year.
Michaelides & Bednash already worked with Mercury, as did the Media
M&B was drafted in to help Blakemore in the search for a creative and
media agency, and recommended the Media Business, its habitual media
The CWC media pitch will be concluded by late spring, but is already
clashing with initial presentations for BT’s pounds 160 million media
business, which began the first stage of its review at the end of last
year. A number of agencies are said to be talking to both BT and
A CWC spokesman confirmed the review, saying the company’s media options
had not been thoroughly explored prior to launch.