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BRANDING NEWS: Virgin finally consigns NTL to hell with rebrand for B2B arm

Virgin finally rebrands NTL Telewest Business

Possibly the longest-awaited rebrand in the history of B2B marketing was finally announced yesterday as Virgin finally unveiled the new name for its business telecoms and data business: Virgin Media Business.

Virgin Group chairman Sir Richard Branson was on hand to unveil the new identity, consigning the last vestiges of the old NTL Telewest identity (acquired by Virgin in 2006) to history.

Branson noted that the relaunch was held at the same venue and three years to the day since the launch of Virgin Media to consumers. He also stated that the delay in rebranding the business operation was in order to resolve issues with product and service and successfully establish the B2C operation.

A successful and popular consumer service would provide a ‘halo effect' for the business operation, he added.

The rebrand also marks the first time the Virgin brand has formally been associated with the word ‘business', despite obvious significant business customer bases through its Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Trains subsidiaries.

Branson refuted suggestions that the delay in the rebrand had been in any way due to concern of the wider repercussions for the brand as a consequence of aligning largely lifestyle brand Virgin with business products and services for the first time.

"Business should be fun," said Branson. "Virgin businesses are fun. People who work for Virgin businesses certainly feel that they are fun."

Senior Virgin executives also insisted that it wasn't just the name that was changing: investment would continue into the products and services with the aim of opening up new B2B sectors and opportunities.

The public sector would remain a key priority, although Virgin Media Business would now begin to more aggressively target SMEs.

The rebrand will be promoted by a significant marketing campaign, details of which will follow.