Virgin Interactive has pledged to drop shock tactics following the
appointment of Banks Hoggins O’Shea to its pounds 1 million full-service
Paul Houlding, the partner at Banks Hoggins who spearheaded the agency’s
pitch for the business, declared that Virgin Interactive now wanted
advertising that was ’radical and relevant’, rather than shocking.
He added that the company, which counts ’Command and Conquer’, ’Star
Wars’ and ’Screamer’ among its best-sellers, had lined up nine different
marketing projects for this year.
Virgin Interactive has drawn fire in the past from sources as diverse as
the Advertising Standards Authority and the minister for road safety for
its controversial advertising. In November last year, the ASA upheld
complaints that an ad featuring a bathtub filled with blood was ’beyond
the bounds of acceptability’.
A month later, the minister for road safety made a complaint about
another advertisement for ’Screamer’ to the ASA because it appeared to
promote joy riding.
At the same time, Future Publishing, the computer games magazine
publisher, refused to run ads for ’Command and Conquer’ which it felt
The appointment of Banks Hoggins follows months of discussions with a
number of London agencies and the appointment of a new marketing
director, Louie Beatty. The Viacom-owned company split with its previous
incumbents, TBWA and Eurospace, after news of TBWA’s merger with Simons
Palmer Clemmow Johnson earlier this year.
The agency which emerged from the merger, TBWA/Simons Palmer, handles
the advertising for Sony Playstation and was this week appointed to the
brand’s pan-European account.