Internet rivals hire Red and Larkspur

Competing internet access providers NTL Internet and WebTV have appointed PR agencies to launch mass-market internet products in the UK. NTL has hired Larkspur Communications while WebTV has appointed The Red Consultancy.

Competing internet access providers NTL Internet and WebTV have

appointed PR agencies to launch mass-market internet products in the UK.

NTL has hired Larkspur Communications while WebTV has appointed The Red

Consultancy.



Both are charged with tapping into an unknown, but potentially vast

market where consumers can use internet facilities for services such as

home shopping and e-mail, without the need for a home computer.



The companies have built thousands of set-top boxes which will allow

access to service providers via the telephone or TV remote control.



The cost of the boxes are understood to be around pounds 500, while the

monthly service charge will be around pounds 15.



The Red Consultancy was hired this week following a competitive pitch on

an account that is believed to carry a six-figure fee.



WebTV is currently running consumer trials with 100 randomly chosen

members of the public, designed to develop the technology. Its service

partners include BT, Carlton TV and the BBC. ’The brief covers the full

PR spectrum, including trade, technical and consumer media,’ said Red

director David Fuller.



Larkspur’s fees for the NTL account are believed to total around pounds

80,000.



The agency will mount a national trade and consumer campaign which will

run alongside regional promotional activity.



Larkspur director Matt Fearnley said: ’NTL internet is launching

products that will enable even greater numbers of the population to

access the internet.’



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