Virgin Money quadruples pre-tax profits ... and more

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Virgin Money: recent ad campaign revived the rock and roll art of TV throwing
Virgin Money: recent ad campaign revived the rock and roll art of TV throwing

Virgin Money quadruples pre-tax profits

It has been a good year for Virgin Money, the UK ‘challenger bank’ largely formed in the aftermath of the financial crisis out of the wreckage of Northern Rock.

Virgin Money reported a pre-tax profit of £138m for 2015, compared to £34m a year earlier.

This was largely due to Britons lapping up cheap credit in an era of ultra-low interest rates, as well as rules making it easier to switch bank accounts: retail deposit balances grew 12% year-on-year to £25.1bn, credit card balances grew 44% to £1.6bn and mortgage balances grew 16% to £25.5bn.

Source: FT

HTC sells 15,000 VR headsets in 10 minutes

HTC's Vive virtual reality headset appears to be off to a good start. Shen Ye, who works in HTC's VR division, tweeted last night that HTC sold more than 15,000 units of the Vive within its first 10 minutes on sale.

It's hard to know exactly what to make of the figure. These are the first Vive pre-orders, so thousands and thousands of people who may have been waiting over a year to buy the headset were rushing to get their order in first, meaning sales may have slowed dramatically in the minutes thereafter (as you'd expect with any high-profile preorder).

On the other hand, the Vive costs $799 and requires a high-end gaming PC, so it's really only available to a limited audience. You can't expect HTC to have iPhone-like preorder figures.

Source: The Verge

Deloitte acquires US creative agency Heat

Management advisory giant Deloitte has snapped up 112-person San Francisco creative agency Heat, which was awarded Adweek's Breakthrough Agency of the Year in 2015.

The agency is known for edgy, culturally attuned campaigns for clients such as EA Sports, Bank of the West, Hotwire, Esurance and Credit Karma. Work of note includes a high-octane five-minute trailer for EA's Madden NFL 16 video game, which garnered more than 11 million views on YouTube alone.

The shop enjoyed a bravura performance last year, growing revenue about 32% to more than $21 million.

Heat president John Elder, chairman and executive creative director Steve Stone  and managing director Mike Barrett will continue in their current roles, and Heat will retain its brand identity as part of Deloitte.

Source: Adweek

Catch up with some of our longer reads...

The millennial dilemma: generation, mindset or irrelevance?

It's tempting (and useful) for marketers to put people in neat demographic boxes. But, as consumer lives become more fluid, age-agnostic and globally minded, is it time to put a stop to generational generalisations, asks Rebecca Coleman.

Motherhood, interrupted: brands must be sensitive to the stresses of digital parenting

At a time when parenting is endlessly interrupted by digital communication and social media, brands must beware of exacerbating the pressure on women, writes Nicola Kemp.

If you watch one video today...

...hear what the public think of the Conservative government spending £5m to promote the new National Living Wage.