Virgin Atlantic briefs new ad agency to focus on content and social media

Adam & Eve/DDB has been briefed to develop a content- and social media-led strategy for Virgin Atlantic after winning the airline's advertising pitch this month.

The Omnicom agency beat its sister shop Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, The Brooklyn Brothers and the incumbent, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, to pick up the business.

The pitch began in March and, controversially, 20 shops were initially invited to participate by the intermediary Creativebrief. Eight agencies had chemistry meetings and the final four went on to the main pitch.

During the process, in­dustry commentators made much of the fact that James Murphy, the founder and chief executive of Adam & Eve/DDB, had worked on Virgin Atlantic when he was at RKCR/Y&R.

There was also speculation that AMV could benefit from Virgin Atlantic’s director of brand and customer experience, Reuben Arnold, having had a relationship with the agency while at Eurostar.

Adam & Eve/DDB will now develop the global creative vision for the airline and set the UK marketing and advertising strategy alongside Naked Communications, which won the eCRM account last year, and Manning Gottlieb OMD, which handles media.

Virgin Atlantic's PR needs are served by Bray Leino on the consumer side, with Cake also handling a project around the addition of new planes to its fleet, and Blue Rubicon on the corporate side.

RKCR/Y&R will oversee projects that are already in progress over the next few months and ensure there is a smooth transition. No staff members from the agency are expected to move to Adam & Eve/DDB.

Although representatives from other markets were involved in the process, the Y&R network will continue to work with Virgin Atlantic outside of the UK.

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