Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe has been appointed to overhaul Virgin
Direct’s brand strategy as the financial services company prepares to
move into the next phase of its development.
TBWA GGT Simons Palmer, the incumbent on Virgin Direct’s advertising
business, will retain the pounds 15 million creative account in the
However, contrary to reports this week, Virgin Direct is continuing to
review its agency relations. Steve Taylor, the brand manager at Virgin
Direct, called the retention of TBWA a ’passive decision’. He added: ’We
are comfortable with TBWA and I have no burning desire to get rid of
them. We are reviewing the position.’
Rainey Kelly is likely to dictate the strategy to whichever agency
creates the ads.
MT Rainey, a partner at Rainey Kelly, said: ’Virgin Direct is a mature
brand now and it needs a different approach. This is a major strat-egic
project and it is good to be able to take the long view.’
Rainey Kelly, which already handles Virgin Cola and Virgin Atlantic, has
been in talks with Virgin Direct since TBWA won the pounds 50 million
NatWest account (Campaign, 25 June). Rainey Kelly’s new project will be
completed by the end of the year.
Virgin Direct is considering an expansion of its services, which
currently include pensions, personal equity plans and insurance. For the
brand’s future development, it hopes to come up with a new, less
controversial but equally distinctive advertising strategy. Virgin
Direct’s work originally knocked its competitors, but it has recently
toned this down and now relies on the distinctive blue and red colours
of its press and poster work for branding.
All of Virgin’s media is handled by Manning Gottlieb Media.