Virgin Atlantic Airways Picks McKinney as Marketing Agency

Posted July 30, 2007 10:46 p.m. EDT
Updated July 30, 2007 11:24 p.m. EDT

— McKinney is one of two new agencies of record for Virgin Atlantic Airways.

The carrier picked McKinney to handle strategy and creative work.

MEC Interaction, which is part of Mediaedge:cia, will be responsible for communications planning and buying.

The deal takes effect Aug. 15.

Financial details were not disclosed, but AdWeek magazine reported that the airline has spent about $5 million on media and had been represented by a Miami agency.

Virgin Atlantic made the announcement from its U.S. headquarters in Norwalk, Conn., late Monday afternoon.

“From the start, McKinney showed their collaborative nature and proved they have both the strategic and creative teams that will help move forward the Virgin Atlantic brand in the U.S.,” said Chris Rossi, senior vice president for Virgin Atlantic North America. “Since our first flight, the airline has stood for service, innovation and value, characteristics that were displayed by the entire McKinney and MEC Interaction team, making this the clear choice.”

The agency selections followed a two-month review.

"Virgin Atlantic Airways believes in the power of ideas to change the trajectory of their business and, most importantly, they value a marketing partner that creates bold ideas that make customers eager to engage," said McKinney President Jeff Jones. "They are one of the top brands our employees most desired to work with over the past five years, so this is an extra proud day for McKinney."

The win was the latest in a series for McKinney. In May, McKinney was picked as the agency of record for real estate conglomerate Coldwell Banker, which spent an estimated $100 million on advertising in 2006.

McKinney, which had recently lost Audi and Sony, landed Virgin Mobile – a wireless phone service – in February.

The earlier setbacks led to the layoffs of some 40 people.

Virgin Atlantic launched service in 1984 and connects 10 U.S. cities with London. It also offers flights worldwide to such destinations as Tokyo, Las Vegas, Shanghai and Sydney, Australia.

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