Virgin appoints group brand director

Virgin Group has appointed a director to oversee the presentation of its brand across the different companies it lends its name to.

Ashley Stockwell, who is managing director of the group’s Internet portal, will take up the new position of group brand marketing director this week.

Stockwell’s brief is to act as a guardian for the brand, as well as to develop activities across the group on a global basis.

He will report to Virgin brand development and corporate affairs director Will Whitehorn, and will be based at the Virgin Management offices, where Virgin chairman Sir Richard Branson is also located.

Stockwell will be responsible for ensuring continuity in the way consumers perceive the diverse range of Virgin-branded businesses. The Virgin Group is divided into five divisions: transport, communications, leisure, retail and financial services.

Virgin’s largest ongoing project is the launch of Virgin Mobile in the US. The company has invested $300m (&£192m) in a joint venture with US telecoms company Sprint. It will roll out a US mobile phone retail network, with 10,000 outlets, over the next few weeks.

Stockwell says he has already been chairing a quarterly “Virgin marketing director forum”, where marketing chiefs from across the group gather to discuss “common ground”.

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