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Another blow for M&C Saatchi as Virgin Holidays exits

It never rains but it pours, at M&C Saatchi anyway.

Following a disastrous 2015, which saw the departures of whopper accounts Dixons and Direct Line, the agency has now lost Virgin Holidays, supposedly one of its success stories.

M&C declined to repitch (probably wisely). CEO Tom Bazeley says: “We’ve loved working with the Virgin Holidays brand, and are proud to have played a part in a success story that saw company profits double last year and record trading figures over the last month. We have chosen not to repitch for the business.”

Virgin Holidays is nowhere near as big as Direct Line or Dixons but it’s another kick in the teeth. M&C lured Justin Tindall from Leo Burnett to be its new ECD at the end of last year but the poor chap needs some accounts to work on. Whether or not he’ll still be working with Bazeley remains to be seen. M&C seems to have gone into reverse since it splashed £6m on Bazeley’s Lean Mean Fighting Machine and installed the Lean Meaners in most senior roles.

Virgin is currently assembling a pitch list. Wonder what odds Paddy Power would offer on the account following Virgin Atlantic into adam&eveDDB? Virgin businesses operate more or less independently but Atlantic and Holidays are clearly linked. Assuming Atlantic likes its new ‘Yuppie going to a meeting in New York’ campaign, A&E looks a shoe-in.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

One comment

  1. Tracey woolnoigh

    Interesting article.

    You forgot to mention that they also parted company with their huge tfl account.

    It’s sad to see such a strong agency losing so many at once.

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