DIARY: Virgin Mobile spot in The Sun has readers red-faced and angry

It would appear that some folk just don't understand the concept of

direct mail ... well, not in the style of that produced by Virgin Mobile

and placed in The Sun last week.

Rainey Kelley Campbell Roalfe/Y&R produced an insert for Virgin Mobile

detailing a series of complaints from a consumer to an unnamed mobile

phone company. Handwritten, it started off nicely, but ended in a

curler-wobbling diatribe of abuse.

The idea was to follow on from the press ads showing fuming mobile phone

customers letting off about charges and line rental.

Trouble started when more than 350 of The Sun's readers - known for

their lightning wit - got a mite confused, thinking the insert was a

personal letter left in their copy.

Other readers called Virgin to complain about the letter, believing it

to be both personal and sinister.

Since then, Virgin has been forced to pull the campaign from certain

papers, but remains stoical about its impact. "Some people found it to

be brilliant, hilarious, provocative and witty," crooned a


But what about those who found it "confusing, perplexing, bemusing and

annoying"? The imaginary customer isn't the only one seeing red.

Got a Diary story? E-mail campaign@haynet.com or post it to Diary

editor, Campaign, 174 Hammersmith Road, London W6.