Usain Bolt extends Virgin Media partnership

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Usain Bolt: stars in Virgin Media TV campaign
Usain Bolt: stars in Virgin Media TV campaign

Usain Bolt, the 100 and 200 metre Olympic champion, is to star in the new TV ad for Virgin Media, continuing the relationship which began with DDB, the brand's former ad agency.

Sources close to Virgin Media said members of the company's marketing team flew out to Jamaica in late November to shoot a Bartle Bogle Hegarty-created TV ad with Bolt.

Bolt has starred in a number of ads for Virgin Media including a TV ad made by DDB UK early this year which showed Bolt dressed up as Sir Richard Branson, founder and chairman of the Virgin Group.

The Branson ad was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority in July after BT claimed the phrase "bye bye to buffering" suggested Virgin Media customers would never experience buffering.

Broadband marketing is fiercely competitive and a separate online Virgin Media ad starring Bolt was banned after BSkyB complained it was not clear exclusions applied to the claim, "Richard Branson's doubling your broadband speed".

BBH picked up the ad account for Virgin Media in December 2011 and since the London 2012 Olympic Games has used the British double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farrah in Virgin Media’s marketing.

A spokeswoman from Virgin Media declined to comment on whether Bolt was going to star in a new Virgin Media TV ad.


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