Agencies go headto-head for Virgin Money Marketing

- Virgin has put two below-the-line agencies head-to-head to compete for the brief to launch Virgin Money Marketing, a telephone service giving customers advice on Virgin's financial products.

- Virgin has put two below-the-line agencies head-to-head to compete for the brief to launch Virgin Money Marketing, a telephone service giving customers advice on Virgin's financial products.

Stretch the Horizon and IMP are awaiting the outcome of the pitches, which took place last week. Virgin Money Marketing is a division of the Virgin Direct brand, and provides a way for Virgin to direct sell its financial services products, which include PEPs and the new ISAs.

A source close to the business said: "It's a sizeable piece of business. The task is to encourage people to use this telephone service. The campaign will involve mixed media, and the pitches didn't involve any creative, just strategy."

The triumphant agency could find a way in to Virgin Direct's remaining business. Its below-the-line advertising is currently in a state of flux following its direct marketing agency, Limbo, being folded into Bartle Bogle Hegarty to form BBH Unlimited last year.

It is not thought that the client has made a full-time replacement, though in the interim, project work has been handled by an undisclosed shop. A full-scale review of its direct marketing is therefore expected.

A budget for the task has not yet been set, and the source explained: "As it is a new product area, part of the brief will be to work out the kind of budget that is needed." A result is expected by the end of the month.



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