AMV triumphs in Virgin shoot-out against adam&eve

We noted recently that AMV BBDO was on a big new business drive and so it is – with a vengeance. Last week it won Samsung Electronics in the UK and now it’s won both Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays in a closed pitch against Omnicom sibling and rival adam&eveDDB, which handled Atlantic.

The deal is for three years and stems from a desire to “improve marketing efficiencies and deliver greater creative synergy between the two brands.” The accounts will handled by separate agency teams.

Virgin Atlantic senior VP of marketing Claire Cronin says: “Aligning our creative work under a single award-winning agency will help us ensure we deliver more complementary marketing strategies that continue to grow each individual brand – and the creativity and enthusiasm from AMV BBDO knocked it out of the park for us. Adam & Eve has been a phenomenal agency partner, who we cannot recommend highly enough, and we would like to thank them for the incredible work they’ve delivered over the previous four years.”

Virgin Holidays VP of marketing and customer experience Amber Kirby (who joined recently from Boots) says: “Virgin Holidays has an award-winning comms platform with Seize The Holiday – and I’m really excited to see how this will evolve over the next few years, whilst remaining distinctive and individual from Virgin Atlantic.”

Virgin Atlantic fell into a loss last year under cost pressures and competition on the prime Atlantic route from lower cost operators like Norwegian. No doubt there was a fair amount of financial horse trading involved in this decision.

AMV, still the UK’s biggest agency by billings, has stuttered somewhat recently but appears to be bouncing back strongly. It’s also currently repitching for national lottery operator Camelot.

A&E, which has carried all before it in recent years, including eclipsing AMV to a degree, is now under some pressure. Last week it lost Harvey Nichols, for whom it had won six Cannes Grand Prix, to another Omnicom agency TBWA in a surprise switch and now Virgin Airways has gone to its biggest rival. This, if you like, is its Eddie Jones moment: can it stop a short run of losses following sharply on a long run of success?

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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.

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