Radio battle rages as Liberty and Virgin launch campaigns

The marketing battle in the commercial radio industry is hotting up with Liberty Radio spending 2m on its launch campaign and Virgin Radio taking the majority of bussides in the UK over the next month.

Liberty, which was the London women’s radio station Viva! before it was acquired by Harrods proprietor Mohammed Al Fayed for 3m in May, starts broadcasting next week with new programming. New presenters, such as Simon Bates, Richard Skinner, Anna Raeburn, ZoëBall and Bruno Brookes, will provide a mix of music, call-in shows and chat aimed at a mass audience of 25 to 45-year-olds.

“We are bringing back big name, big entertainment radio,” says Liberty Broadcasting’s managing director, Mike Hollingsworth. “It’s full-service radio, not specialist music or back-to-back chat.”

Hollingsworth confirms that the new line-up of presenters has pushed running costs for the station to about 7m a year.

The launch is being supported by a campaign on Carlton and LWT, in the Evening Standard, on 60 London taxis and 2,000 Adshel sites. The advertising has been created and bought by Landsdown Conquest.

At the same time, Virgin Radio is buying 10,000 bus rears in various UK cities for the next phase of its long-running marketing initiative. The 500,000 campaign is targeted at drivers.

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