McKinney Agency Dials a Winner, Landing Virgin Mobile USA

Wireless communications provider picks Durham-based firm to handle advertising. McKinney recently lost Sony, Audi accounts.

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DURHAM, N.C. – Advertising agency McKinney, which was rocked by bad news last year in losing two high-profile accounts, landed a major new one worth more than $30 million on Wednesday.

Virgin Mobile USA said it had picked McKinnney to manage its advertising. The contract will top $30 million, the company said in a statement.

“McKinney best demonstrated they understand the Virgin Mobile brand and how to build on our current momentum and we’re excited to have them as our partners,” said Howard Handler, chief marketing officer for Virgin Mobile USA.

Virgin Mobile focuses on younger users. It has more than 4.6 million customers.

The win for McKinney came after it lost accounts for Sonny and Audi. Those setbacks led to layoffs of some 40 people.

"Virgin Mobile USA will continue to carve out new and interesting territory in the youth wireless space," said McKinney President Jeff Jones in a statement. "We are thrilled to be chosen as their new partners and will do all we can to create powerful ideas and insightful strategies as fresh and innovative as Virgin Mobile itself."

Other McKinney clients include the NASDAQ, Select Comfort and Qwest Communications.

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