Optus to wind down Virgin Mobile brand after 18 years

Optus will wind down its Virgin Mobile brand over the next two years, the telco has announced.

Known for its quirky advertising aimed at Millennial consumers –most recently the #avofairgo mockumentary with The Betoota Advocate – Optus Mobile launched a number of award-winning campaigns including Fair Go, Bro featuring Brad Pitt’s brother Doug in 2012 and its 2003 Warren series featuring a loser looking for love.

In 2013, Virgin Mobile rebranded to focus on retaining existing customers rather than looking for new subscribers.

Optus announced in March it would be reviewing its creative roster, and at the time it was at pains to point out the review would not include the Virgin Mobile account, currently held by Whybin\TBWA.

Australia’s smaller mobile telco brands are coming under increasing pressure as margins slide due to competition between the three biggest players – Optus, Telstra and Vodafone – and the soon to launch fourth player, TPG.

Optus took a 100% stake in Virgin Mobile, launched in October 2000, in January 2006 after it bought out Virgin Group’s 74% for A$30 million.

News Corp reports Optus’ move will see 36 stores closed and 200 jobs lost over the next two years as services are folded into the parent company’s brand.

“Optus will phase out use of the Virgin Mobile brand over the next two years,” an Optus spokesperson said in a statement.

“Virgin Mobile customers can continue to use their service in the same way they always have. We will be contacting them in the coming days to let them know more about the changes and their future options.

“For Virgin Mobile employees, our policy is always to talk to those who may be impacted by these changes first. Any potential options for redeployment within the wider Optus business will be discussed with affected individuals at that time.”


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