Virgin Active splits with Beige amid account review

Virgin Active and UK consumer agency Beige PR have split after five years working together as the gym operator has advanced discussions with other agencies about a broader scope of work.

LONDON: Virgin Active and UK consumer agency Beige PR have split after five years working together as the gym operator has advanced discussions with other agencies about a broader scope of work.

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 his agency declined to re-pitch due to a new corporate part of the account.

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

It is understood that Pendomer Communications, which handles corporate work for Virgin Active, is not affected by the brief.  

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

The account review is taking place shortly after a management shake-up in September in which founder Matthew Bucknall was shifted from CEO to group president and replaced in the chief executive role by finance director Paul Woolf.

There have also been changes in the company's marcomms set-up.

Brian Waring was named CMO last December, and Laura Dalgleish was brought in as head of external affairs in August.

Both had previously worked at Starbucks, with Waring acting as a consultant after leaving the coffee chain in May 2012 and before joining Virgin Active.

Virgin Active was launched in 1999. It has 1.5 million members in 272 clubs in eight countries.

This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK.

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