Tiny U.K. shop wins $80m Telecoms account

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LONDON -- Cable & Wireless Communications, which will soon launch as an integrated television and telecommunications service in the U.K., has appointed the country's 150th largest agency with billings of $5m to head its $80m launch campaign. Rapier Stead & Bowden beat such industry heavyweights as Saatchi & Saatchi, Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury for one of this year's biggest pitches.

Rapier Stead & Bowden will work on the advertising and provide the creative lead on all the supporting below-the-line activity. The main brand launch, scheduled for later this year, is aimed at consumers and business customers.

Ruth Blakemore, marketing director for Cable & Wireless Communications, says of the agency's win: "Our decision to appoint Rapier is a credit to their holistic approach to the account -- covering planning, development and resourcing -- as well as to their creativity and understanding our business. I'm looking forward to working closely with Rapier to build a virtual team, comprising in-house and agency people, across a range of disciplines, to bring this campaign to life."

Cable & Wireless Communications PLC is the result of the merger of U.K. telephone company Mercury Communications and cable companies Bell Cablemedia and NYNEX CableComms and Videotron. Organizers claim the group will be the U.K.'s largest integrated supplier of telecommunications and television services. Cable & Wireless Communications is the U.K. arm of Cable and Wireless PLC, the world's third largest carrier of international telecoms traffic with customers in 70 countries.

Cable & Wireless Communications will continue to work with Michelides and Bednash on media strategy, The Media Business Group on media buying, International Poster Management for outdoor.

Copyright July 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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