The Cable Communications Association has dropped its year-old national
advertising initiative, parting with its director of marketing, Mike
Hayes, and its advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson.
Hayes joined the CCA in January 1995. At the time, the UK’s cable
companies agreed that the generic marketing function was needed to help
establish a platform for co-ordinated action.
But a CCA statement said: ‘Now Hayes has helped engineer that platform,
the cable companies no longer see a need for CCA involvement in the
The decision comes as the cable industry is experiencing consolidation
of ownership which will create fewer, more powerful companies, each with
their own marketing and advertising agendas.
Cable and Wireless Communications, which merges the old Cable and
Wireless with Nynex, Bell Cablemedia and Videotron, is expected to look
for a new advertising structure.
The CCA is understood to be refocusing on its core functions of legal,
regulatory and public affairs matters. The aim is to reposition it as a
lobbying body, representing the industry’s interests to the Independent
Television Commission and the Government.
The dropping of the generic advertising campaign, which was backed by
pounds 10 million last year, comes after a string of criticisms about
its effectiveness. Many of these were aimed at the lack of investment
behind the push.
Only last month, Adam Singer, the president and chief operating officer
of the leading cable operator, TCI, told the European Cable Convention
that the campaign, which starred Dawn French, was ‘only average’. He
said pounds 10 million was not enough and pleaded with the industry to
do more together to boost cable’s fortunes.