Adam Singer, the president and chief operating officer of the leading
cable operator, Telecommunications International Inc, has criticised
J. Walter Thompson’s generic advertising campaign for the UK cable
industry and suggested the agency assigned a second-rate team to the
Speaking at the European Cable Convention in London this week, Singer
declared the initiative ‘a good start but, I’m afraid, only an average
campaign’. He added: ‘pounds 10 million will only buy you a B-team
creative in an advertising agency.’
In a plea for more entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thought, Singer
asked: ‘Where are the cable industry’s pounds 500,000 marketing
directors... where are our Bransons, our Greens, our Roddicks?’
Singer accused the UK cable business of being ‘plagued’ by the cosy
corporate philosophies of US and Canadian telecommunications giants.
He added: ‘Winners will win as much because of their culture as their
resources. American and Canadian cable and telecomms operators are
monopolies which have seldom had to fight for a single customer.’
Their attitude contrasted with the aggressive attitude of Rupert
Murdoch’s News Corporation.
Singer called for a cable industry ‘cultural revolution’ to boost the
business’s fortunes. ‘To be an industry, we have to be a community - but
there is little evidence of that,’ he said.
He urged the regulatory authorities to monitor cable and satellite
competition more effectively.
Neither Jonathan John nor Nick Wootton, the creatives behind the ad, nor
anyone else at JWT, would reply to Singer’s comments.