Telewest Broadband public affairs review

Telewest Broadband has initiated a full-scale review of its public

affairs agencies in light of changing legislation in the industry.

Seven agencies have been invited to pitch for the new business.

Recently rebranded from Telewest Communications, the firm is seeking one

or more public affairs companies to provide external support in the

corridors of power in England, Scotland and the EU.

Pitches are due to take place by the end of the month for contracts due

to start in the New Year.

'We are not restricting ourselves to one contract, but looking for

sufficient coverage in the UK and Brussels. At the moment, we have

picked seven candidates who we believe can deliver what we want,' said

Telewest Broadband head of public affairs Charles Wilby.

In Brussels and Edinburgh, Telewest has been using independent

consultants, while in Westminster it has been working with public

affairs specialist Butler Kelly, which is believed to be taking part in

the pitch.

Wilby said: 'We want these external advisers to help and assist us in

having a say in the public debate. The brief is vague, simply for the

agencies to tell us what is happening in the market through informed and

competitive pitches.

'We want to work with agencies that can keep us updated on

developments,' he added.

In the UK, a new Communications Bill will be drafted next year designed

to merge the telecommunications and broadcasting acts into one while the

five different regulators governing the industry are expected to be

consolidated into the proposed super regulator Ofcom.

Telewest, headed by group chief executive Adam Singer, has 1.7 million

UK household customers and owns, or has joint venture agreements to

operate a dozen TV channels, including Living, Challenge and Bravo.

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