Virgin has appointed Roose & Partners and Manning Gottlieb Media to handle the £2m advertising launch of its new discount car site Virgincars.com.
The service will offer customers cars at European prices and should be operational by the middle of February.
The cars will be imported directly from Europe, and the marketing is expected to emphasise how much more UK consumers pay than their Continental counterparts.
The agency appointments follow Virgin’s decision to hire the former Ammirati Puris Lintas advertising executive Paul McWhinnie as marketing director of the new venture.
Although MGM already buys media for the majority of Virgin’s brands, Roose & Partners is not on Virgin’s usual roster of agencies.
The problem is that Virgin’s other creative agencies already handle advertising for car manufacturers, such as Ford and Nissan, who would be opposed to Virgin’s latest venture.
The industry has been facing a backlash from consumers over car price fixing and is under pressure from the Consumers Association to harmonise UK prices with the rest of Europe.
Roose does handle Mitsubishi’s £8m advertising business in the UK. However, Mitsubishi has recently come forward and admitted its prices were not fair and has reduced prices on some of its cars.
A spokesperson for Virgincars.com confirmed that a creative agency had been appointed, but refused to give any other details.