Virgin nabs Pepe chief to run jeans

Virgin is bringing in Pepe Jeans European marketing director Mark Blenkinsop to oversee the new clothing and denim division of the Branson empire.

Blenkinsop, presently based at Pepe’s European headquarters in Amsterdam, has been recruited to spearhead Virgin’s launch into the UK jeans market.

He will be working on the new Virgin brand in direct competition with Pepe, which holds about 3.8 per cent volume of the UK market according to the latest Nielsen statistics. Levi’s has 25.9 per cent share.

Blenkinsop was appointed as marketing director at Pepe in February 1994, promoted from his previous positions within the jeans company, including marketing manager.

Pepe hit the headlines last year with its controversial “teenage suicide” ads that were investigated by the Independent Television Commission. Blenkinsop was instrumental in choosing agency Leagas Delaney and creating the ads.

Pepe has since moved its European office out of the UK and into Amsterdam (MW April 26).

Meanwhile, Virgin plans to launch a flagship clothing store on London’s Regent Street selling low-cost clothes.

A Virgin spokeswoman denies anyone has been appointed to the new jeans arm. Blenkinsop refused to comment.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here