Retail duo tie up with Virgin Cola

Virgin has announced distribution deals with two more retail chains – Asda and Morrisons – for its soft drinks range.

A spokeswoman says Virgin is anticipating further distribution gains within the next few weeks.

The move is part of an ambitious distribution and marketing drive aiming to place Virgin Cola alongside market leaders Coke and Pepsi.

The announcement comes shortly after Marketing Week revealed the range was replacing Woolworths’ own-brand American Cola in 800 high street stores (MW April 24).

Nick Kirkbride, managing director of Virgin Cola Company, says: “Consumers tell us that they love the brand – their only issue has been getting enough of it.”

The distribution drive will be backed by a 5m TV advertising campaign, through Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe, which is due to break in the first week of June.

Four new commercials, described as humorous spoofs on “dodgy” foreign ads, will run throughout the summer on ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

The ads are in direct contrast to Coke and Pepsi’s glamorous commercials. “In the past two years, cola advertising has been dominated by big-budget American sameness – I believe the British public is bored with this,” says Virgin chief Richard Branson.

Virgin is also sold in Tesco (which originally had exclusive rights to the range), Iceland, Co-op and Somerfield.

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