Frank PR, Borkowski, Cake and Golden Goose PR fight over Virgin Active brief

Top consumer agencies are locked in a battle to land Virgin Active's retained consu­mer account.

Virgin Active: to promote its 71 British gyms
Virgin Active: to promote its 71 British gyms

Frank PR, Borkowski, Cake and incumbent Golden Goose PR all pitched for the business last week. Virgin Active ori­ginally approached a dozen agencies, before whittling it down to a four-way shortlist.

The chosen agency will be handed a retained consumer account to promote the brand’s 71 nationwide gyms.

Virgin Active’s brand partnership manager Gemma Woodfield declined to comment on when a decision would be made and would not discuss the nature of the brief.

It is believed the PR review is part of a wider review of all external marketing agencies.

The gym has used Golden Goose PR since the end of 2006, when it began a £20m refurbishment of the Holmes Place brand. At the time, Golden Goose beat off Four Communications and Van Communications for the account.

At the end of 2008, Virgin Active operated 179 clubs across Europe and South Afr­ica and 71 in the UK with 883,000 members. Last week the company announced it will open 25 clubs in northern Italy over the next four years as it boosts international exp­ansion. The company is planning to open a further six gyms in South Africa this year, and one in Madrid in October.

Virgin Active reported a nine per cent increase in revenues to £341.3m in 2008.

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