Virgin Active splits with Beige in consumer PR rethink

Virgin Active and its UK consumer agency Beige PR have split after five years and the gym operator is in advanced discussions with other agencies about a broader brief.

Virgin Active: Reshaping consumer brief
Virgin Active: Reshaping consumer brief

Virgin Active is halfway through a pitch in which agencies are believed to be competing to handle a consumer-focused brief with corporate and CSR elements.

Beige founder Larry Franks said that his agency declined to repitch due to a new corporate element in the brief.

"As an agency you have to look after your business by understanding what you do, and this wasn’t for us," he added.   

However, it is understood that Pendomer Communications, which currently handles corporate work for Virgin Active, is not affected by the review.

A Virgin Active spokeswoman confirmed that a pitch was taking place but declined to comment further.

The pitch comes shortly after a management shake-up in September in which founder Matthew Bucknall was shifted from CEO to group president, to be replaced by finance director Paul Woolf.

There have also been recent changes within the company’s marcoms set-up.

These saw Brian Waring made chief marketing officer last December and Laura Dalgleish brought in as head of external affairs this August.

Both had formerly worked at Starbucks, with Waring acting as a consultant in between leaving Starbucks in May 2012 and joining Virgin Active.

Virgin Active was launched in 1999 and now has 1.5 million members in 272 clubs in eight different countries.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.