Larkspur picks up Virgin Vie PR

Virgin Vie, Virgin’s cosmetics and toiletries business, has hired Larkspur to take on its consumer PR following a two-way competitive pitch.

Virgin Vie, Virgin’s cosmetics and toiletries business, has hired

Larkspur to take on its consumer PR following a two-way competitive

pitch.



Six agencies were initially shortlisted for the account, which will

focus on targeting beauty and consumer press. Larkspur will kick off

with support for the new Christmas make-up range and body and home

products launching on 23 July. The agency will also support Virgin Vie

Mail Order and Virgin Vie Direct, a national network of over 1,100

Virgin Vie consultants.



Larkspur reports to marketing director Ros Simmons and will work closely

with in-house press co-ordinator Susan Millar and a brand communications

director yet to be appointed.



Much of Larkspur’s activity will focus on Virgin Vie’s flagship Oxford

Street store. Larkspur director Matt Fearnley said the agency aimed to

articulate the brand’s values and attitude, as well as publicising its

products.



Virgin Vie was launched in October 1997 and sells over 500 products,

ranging from shampoos and foot gels to make-up and perfume. It markets

itself as offering premium products at affordable prices.



Stores have already opened in Bromley, Thurrock, Sheffield, Norwich and

Bristol and there are plans to open three more shops, including one in

Dublin, before the end of the year.



The Virgin Vie Direct consultants visit customers at home so they can

sample the product range. A new autumn make-up range ’The Great

Outdoors’ will be available from September.



Fearnley will lead the four-strong account team, which also includes

Eileen Peters, Anna Hooper and Frankie Oliver.



Support of Virgin Vie’s regional stores and PR will continue to be

handled by Craigie Taylor, while City and investor relations are handled

by Merlin Financial Communications.



Larkspur launched internet service provider Virgin Net for the Virgin

Media Group in 1996. A further extension of the Virgin brand is in the

pipeline with plans for a chain of Virgin clothing stores.



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