Virgin Games PR offensive looms

Virgin Games, the embryonic foray into gaming by its parent group, has called in Nelson Bostock Communications to strengthen its foothold in the arena.

Virgin Games MD Oscar Nieboer said PR spend for a consumer campaign around its Bingo, Poker and Casino websites - and the yet-to-launch Virgin Skill - would be 'north of £75,000' over the coming year.

The initial three months of the PR campaign will focus on Virgin Bingo, which launched in June. Nieboer said he wanted to promote the site as a 'glamorous and more accessible pastime' to a 'female heartland'.

Nelson Bostock will also handle the October launch of Virgin Skill, where players of simple games such as Connect 4 will pay to play other users.

Virgin Poker could prove even more challenging. Last month, Virgin Games chairman Simon Burridge said he was unhappy with the lack of customers on the site.

Nelson Bostock sealed its contract following a three-way pitch via AAR.

Nieboer said Virgin Games would 'look to review' the relationship with the agency after the initial six months.

Virgin Games launched last year as a wholly owned division of Virgin.com.

The websites offer a wide selection of games that can be played for fun, cash or prizes. They are aimed at the mass-market gamer and draw on the extensive distribution network of Virgin businesses.

Difficulties at Virgin Games and rivals have been seen as the first signs of possible shakeout from the euphoria highlighted by May's £7bn listing of PartyGaming.

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