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.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

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

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big 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 are your guide.


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

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

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