Virgin switches marketing strategy by pooling net budgets into dot-com

Virgin chairman Sir Richard Branson has announced a change in marketing strategy which will allow the company to focus on advertising through online brand Virgin.com.

Speaking at the launch of Virgin Energy, an online joint venture with London Electricity, Branson said the marketing spend for online sections of divisions such as Virgin Rail and Virgin Atlantic will be pooled into Virgin.com, increasing the online division’s budget.

Virgin set aside &£30m to promote the launch of several divisions this year, including Virgin Cars and Virgin Wines.

The overall marketing spend at Virgin.com also looks likely to increase again next year once budgets have been merged into a single fund.

Virgin spokesman Will Whitehorn says: “The spend on all Virgin’s companies will be reduced over time and the money will be put into a pot, which will eventually become the budget for Virgin.com.”

Virgin Energy will initially supply gas and electricity online, offering customers a price guarantee whereby they will be fully refunded and given a 20 per cent bonus if they are unable to save money on their yearly bills compared with other companies’ tariffs.

Virgin Energy appointed Leo Burnett to handle its &£10m creative account last month (MW June 15). Manning Gottlieb Media handles media.

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