Virgin Holidays starts 2m search

Virgin Holidays is looking for a media and creative agency for its 2m account to help see off competition from major rival tour operators Thomson, Airtours, First Choice and Thomas Cook.

The Virgin Holidays account was held by JWT in Manchester two years ago. The company has since used several design agencies for its products. However, it is now reviewing all advertising.

Kathryn Street, Virgin Holidays general manager for sales and marketing, says: “We have a diverse range of products from short haul to long haul.

“The challenge will be to bring together the different brands without alienating either market.”

Virgin Holidays, which intends to grow to the size of Thomson within the next ten years, faces stiff competition from tour operators which have their own chain of retail outlets and can sell their own products. Travel agents will sell their parent company holidays in preference to others.

Last month, Virgin founder Richard Branson said he was considering launching a chain of travel agents to counter this threat (MW April 29).

Virgin Holidays products include short-haul charter operation Virgin Sun, which launched last month, and Virgin Territory, which flies to Florida, South Africa and China.

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