Rapier lands £50m NTL Telewest/Virgin launch task

LONDON - Rapier has landed the lion's share of NTL Telewest/Virgin Mobile's £50m launch account at the expense of Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R.

James Kydd, the managing director of marketing for Virgin X -- the merged company's working title -- awarded Rapier the brand TV brief and lead strategic planning for the launch. The agency will also handle all direct response activity. RKCR/Y&R will be responsible for press and outdoor work. Kydd's decision followed creative presentations from both agencies.

This is a blow for RKCR/Y&R, which has held the Virgin Mobile account since 1999. Its recent work shows Pamela Anderson publicising Virgin Mobile's real-time TV service.

Recently, RKCR/Y&R won BT's business-to-business account, which could present conflict issues in the future.

Jonathan Stead, Rapier's chief executive, said: "We're delighted to work for Virgin X alongside Rainey Kelly."

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