Virgin seeks digital shop

By Larissa Bannister, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 25 August 2006 12:00AM

Virgin Money hunts for web design agency, but says it will retain glue's services.

Virgin Money is understood to be talking to agencies about its digital account, with a view to consolidating its online advertising and website design into one agency.

The insurance and personal finance provider has briefed a number of digital agencies and has scheduled meetings for the next couple of weeks.

Glue currently works on digital advertising for the brand, but does not offer a website design service. It also holds Virgin Trains' and Virgin Atlantic's online advertising accounts, neither of which is affected by the review.

The agency has produced several award-winning campaigns for Virgin Money over the past few years. Its "plastic surgery" work for the Virgin Money credit card, for which it commissioned a caricaturist to show examples of surgery gone wrong, won a Campaign Digital award last year. The agency also picked up an MSN Gallery award in 2004 for a campaign promoting Virgin Money Life Insurance.

In recent months, the brand has turned to virals in an attempt to differentiate itself from the response-driven advertising favoured by its rivals. The viral specialist Maverick Media released a viral film in July featuring a man having a penis extension. After choosing the super-sized option, he is disappointed by what results when an attractive nurse enters his hospital room. The viral ends with the strapline: "Enjoy your money. But don't over-extend yourself."

In Australia, the brand recently launched a viral that featured Richard Branson sipping Champagne in a jacuzzi with his arms around two naked women.

A Virgin Money spokesman confirmed it was talking to agencies, but denied glue's position would be affected. "We are looking for an agency that can provide web design services," he said. "Glue is an award-winning agency for us and it's not going anywhere."

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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