The airline has directly contacted ten agencies and is looking to whittle this down to a shortlist of four. It is said to be looking to increase its investment in direct marketing and is seeking an agency to handle all its below-the-line requirements, which include data, creative and electronic customer relationship marketing.
Virgin Atlantic does not have a retained direct marketing agency at present and develops most of its direct marketing in-house. It uses Start Creative for the design of collateral and print materials and the agency has created tactical campaigns in the past. However, Start's relationship with Virgin is not expected to be affected by the review.
In the past, Virgin Atlantic worked with Harrison Patten Troughton, now called Harrison Troughton Wunderman, which won the business from Rapier in 1998.
Its advertising is handled by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, which has held the account since 1994.
Virgin Atlantic confirmed that it has approached a number of agencies.