Telewest Broadband this week handed its £200,000 PA account
to Luther Pendragon after a seven-way pitch.
The market-leading firm saw pitches from incumbent Butler Kelly, Bell
Pottinger Public Affairs, GPC, Lexington Communications, BKSH and The
Communication Group before settling on Luther.
Work starts this month on the account, which will be led by agency
founder and partner Charles Stewart-Smith.
The work will be overseen on the client side by head of public affairs
Charles Wilby, who ran the pitch process, and director of policy and
communications John Murray.
The work is set to cover lobbying in London and Scotland as well as a
Brussels-based element. The European work will be led by Luther sister
company G Plus under partner Peter Gilford, the former press aide to
European Commission president Romani Prodi. Gilford joined Luther in
London for the pitch.
Luther's appointment does not affect Telewest's link with other retained
agencies, Brunswick for financial PR and Consolidated Communications for
Murray said the hire marked a 'significant stepping up of Telewest's PA
capability as we enter a crucial year for the media, telecoms and
broadband sectors in public policy.'
Upcoming PA issues centre on the delivery of what Stewart-Smith
described as 'Broadband Britain'. He said Telewest is well placed to
benefit from the rollout of high-speed internet access and digital TV
since it is both an infrastructure operator and a content provider
through its joint venture with the BBC, Flextech.
'This is not just about targeting the DTI or the DCMS or the regulators
- though that will feature,' Stewart-Smith said. 'It is about a broader
vision of pushing the UK ahead of the competition in digital delivery
and leading that debate.'