Virgin.com poaches Sky boss to head marketing

Virgin.com has poached BSkyB head of customer loyalty Robert Pepper as its first director of marketing.

He will report directly to managing director Alexis Dormandy.

Pepper, who was only at BSkyB for 16 months, will oversee the appointment of an advertising agency to handle a &£30m campaign to promote Virgin.com as part of the Virgin Group’s “clicks and bricks” strategy.

The site will operate in conjunction with the Virgin Group’s Our Price chain, which is to be relaunched as v.shop from September. V.shop will cease to be a dedicated music retailer and instead stock products from across the group. There will also be in-store Internet cafés.

Pepper says: “The Virgin.com proposition is to bring together the different Virgin offerings from across the group, including phones, travel, wines and money.”

He says that, by working alongside v.shop, the site will gain a “human face”.

Pepper adds: “It will allow us to have a brand credibility on the high street, and it will give a personal touch to products offered online. This will enable us to overcome the problems faced by traditional retailers.”

Brand consultancy Circus has been appointed by the Virgin Group to review Virgin.com and v.shop’s brand propositions.

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