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