Virgin Media adds Hollywood glamour to launch ads
LONDON - Uma Thurman is set to lead NTL's £20m campaign to rebrand itself as Virgin Media in a television ad next month, which aims to inform viewers of the media group's change in name and extended services.
NTL, soon to become Virgin Media, now offers mobile phones and broadband as well as fixed-line phone and TV. The campaign is to convince sceptical customers that NTL's poor customer service record is in the past and Virgin Media is now a total UK entertainment organisation.
Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Mobile merged with NTL last year in a £961m deal. As part of the deal, Branson swapped his 72% controlling stake in Virgin Mobile for a 14% stake in the company entity as a whole. This was the first time a UK media company offered TV, land-line telephone services, broadband and mobile phones services, termed as "quadruple play". The upcoming ad is understood to make much of four services on one bill.
Virgin often uses stars in its ad campaigns. It famously used Kate Moss and Pamela Anderson in recent TV campaigns to advertise its mobile brand. James Kydd, formerly Virgin Mobile's brand director and now managing director of Virgin Media, said: "We are thrilled that Uma will be helping us launch the most exciting and the biggest Virgin branded company in the world."
At the end of 2006, NTL made a £4.7m bid for the struggling ITV. However, its offer was blocked when BSkyB made a near 18% stake in ITV.
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