Luther Pendragon secures Telewest Broadband work

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

consumer work.

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.'

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