Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R has resigned the pounds 3 million
Carphone Warehouse business it won only last week.
The split is a result of client conflict thrown up by the merger between
Rainey Kelly and Young & Rubicam, which was announced in Campaign last
Virgin Group, one of Rainey Kelly’s most loyal clients, is launching its
own mobile phone business later this year. Virgin Mobile will sell its
phones direct and on the high street, putting the newcomer in open
competition with Carphone Warehouse.
Y&R won the task of developing a heavyweight Christmas TV campaign last
week after a pitch against Lowe Howard-Spink, Duckworth Finn Grubb
Waters and the Brasserie.
Toby Hoare, the Y&R chief executive who led the pitch, informed Charles
Dunstone, founder of Carphone Warehouse, about the proposed merger with
Rainey Kelly at the time of Y&R’s appointment.
It is unlikely that Tandy, the Carphone Warehouse-owned electrical
retailer and a long-standing client of Y&R, will be affected by the
split. Carphone Warehouse bought Tandy from its US parent, InterTan, in
Virgin Mobile, a joint project with One2One, plans to offer customers
the facility to view their Virgin bank balances, check the performance
of their Virgin PEP and order Virgin plane or train tickets, Virgin
cosmetics or Virgin jeans at the touch of a button. Virgin also promises
a straightforward and reasonable pricing structure and will give away
Virgin Group spends more than pounds 20 million through Rainey
Kelly/Y&R. Rainey Kelly won Virgin Atlantic in 1994 and has since added
Virgin Cola, Virgin Trains and Virgin Direct to its roster.
The Virgin relationship threw up another conflict in the merger -
between Virgin Atlantic and United Airlines - which has been resolved by
handling the two accounts from separate offices.
No-one at Y&R was prepared to comment on the split.