NTL’s comms in limbo as Day leaves Virgin

Steven Day, corporate affairs director at Virgin Mobile since its inception seven years ago, has quit after turning down the top PR role for the NTL group.

His decision coincided with the exit last week of NTL director of comms and policy Keith Monserrat.

NTL this week completed its £962m takeover of Virgin Mobile on the back of its merger with Telewest last year. It expects to rebrand all its operations under the Virgin banner by early 2007.

But the exits leave a comms void at the helm of the company as it prepares to battle BSkyB and BT for customers. The deal has created a business unique in offering a ‘four-play’ of cable TV, broadband, phone and mobile services.

It is understood that Day declined to head the enlarged firm’s PR to take several months off. He said: ‘After seven tremendous years flat out, I’ve decided to have a mid-life oasis.’

NTL director of corporate affairs Paul Richmond – an ex-tobacco industry lobbyist and now NTL’s top PRO – refused to confirm or deny speculation that Monserrat was axed. He said the firm was ‘not even at the early stages of evaluating’ in-house comms needs.

NTL recently enlisted Consolidated Communications for consumer PR, while Virgin Mobile uses Henry’s House. But Brunswick has been appointed as financial comms adviser: the agency, which represented Telewest, saw off Finsbury and Buchanan Communications, the respective City agencies of Virgin Mobile and NTL.

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