Virgin strikes gold with Farah campaign

Virgin Media has credited its marketing push starring Olympic long distance runner Mo Farah for helping to boost signups and for reducing churn in the third quarter.

Virgin Media
Mo Farah signed with Virgin Media to become its brand ambassador in August.

The double Olympic champion signed a sponsorship with Virgin Media in mid-August, shortly after his success at the London 2012 Games.

He followed fellow serial gold medal winner Usain Bolt in becoming an athlete ambassador for the brand and both have featured in its advertising activity to promote broadband and TV products, sometimes donning a Richard Branson-esque blonde beard wig.

Other celebrity Virgin Media brand ambassadors featuring in its advertising in the period included Stephen Fry and David Tennant.

Virgin marked its “best ever quarter” in the three months to 30 September in terms of acquisition as it added 39,500 new cable customers.

The company reduced its churn rate to 1.4 per cent, from 1.7 per cent in the previous quarter.

Virgin also increased the amount of customers taking its TiVo internet-connected TV service by 205,900 to 1.14 million – equivalent to 30 per cent of its TV households. It marked fewer TiVo additions than the previous quarter but achieved its highest ever uptake from new customers.

In the coming weeks the company will be launching the latest enhancement to TiVo, Virgin TV Anywhere. The new offering apes Sky Go by allowing its customers to stream live channels to their mobiles, tablets or desktop computers.

Elsewhere, the company launched free WiFi on the London Underground during the Olympics and Paralympics. Virgin says its WiFi offering was used more than 17 million times by more than half a million people during the Games and it has committed to keeping the service free for the remainder of the year.

Overall, revenue increased 2.8 per cent year on year to £1.03bn in the quarter. Profit rose 40 per cent to £180m.

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