NEWS BRIEFS

Telewest Communications, the UK’s second-largest cable group, is pushing ahead with an aggressive programme to make its new digital service available to its 1.4 million subscribers. Telewest expects the digital service of 150 television and radio channels to be available to 50 per cent of homes passed by its cable network by the end of the year.

Telewest Communications, the UK’s second-largest cable group, is

pushing ahead with an aggressive programme to make its new digital

service available to its 1.4 million subscribers. Telewest expects the

digital service of 150 television and radio channels to be available to

50 per cent of homes passed by its cable network by the end of the

year.





RAC and Carlton Online are among the companies who are working with

Cable & Wireless Communications to offer digital customers a range of

online entertainment and travel information services in the coming

months. Nearly 40 brands, including Tesco, Teletext, Scoot and British

Airways, are now planning to offer interactive and e-commerce services

on C&W’s platform.





Microsoft is to launch its biggest UK ad campaign, investing pounds 6.8

million in a TV, radio and online drive to promote MSN, its internet

arm. The four 30-second ads will run in two six-week bursts in November

and the new year.





Talk Radio and Carlsberg are organising an England v Scotland charity

match on Wednesday 17 November, prior to the main event at Wembley. The

match takes place at 11am at Upton Park. Teams will consist of

journalists from both sides of the border as well as ex-players such as

Alvin Martin, Alan Rough, Lou Macari, Alan Brazil and Frank Lampard Snr.

There is one place left for an advertising agency person to play in the

Scotland side, with the stars by offering a cash bid for a place. Fax

your bid to Jason Trout at Talk Radio on 0171-546 1033. All money raised

will go to the charity Racism out of Football.





The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s Trends in Television

Report for the third quarter of 1999 shows that total average daily

viewing remains constant at 2.79 hours per individual. Both ITV and

Channel 4 performed well against the BBC channels, while Channel 5

continued to grow in patronage and share. Commercial channels now

consistently command more than 60 per cent of viewing.





ITV’s new celebrity gossip show, OK!TV, is to be presented by Fiona

Phillips, Nigel Havers, Twiggy and the soap stars Patsy Palmer and

Tracie Bennett. The half-hour programme, which will run for six weeks,

starts on 3 December. OK! magazine currently sells over 550,000 copies

per week.





Direct marketing expenditure in outdoor rose from pounds 22.7 million in

1994 to pounds 118.2 million three years later, according to a new

report from Poster Publicity. This means that the direct response sector

accounts for 24 per cent of the total outdoor spend. One of the

contributory factors cited is the increase in ownership of mobile

phones, allowing immediate response to contact details.





The European Central Bank has hired Optimedia to help it promote the

euro. The account is likely to be worth pounds 35 million in Europe. The

campaign should kick off next summer and the extent of UK activity is

still to be determined.





The Premier League has launched an internet football gambling game

called Score. It will be promoted by Carat, which is conducting the

planning and buying. The budget is pounds 15 million.