Virgin Australia calls media review

Airline giant Virgin Australia is set to review its media agency arrangements. The account currently sits with Dentsu Aegis Network’s Carat.

The brand has undergone significant change over the past few years, with a reduction in budgets available for agency partners.

Virgin Australia is reviewing its media agency arrangements

The brand pitched its creative account, with DDB appointed in June 2017, under then chief marketing officer Inese Kingsmill.

Kingsmill, however, then departed after less than a year in the role, following a restructure of the marketing department.

Rob Sharp was promoted to group executive, while Danielle Keighery became group executive of brand, marketing and public affairs.

In September last year, former NAB marketer Michael Nearhos joined the brand as marketing director. The brand no longer has a CMO, with the marketing team reporting into Nearhos, and Nearhos reporting to Keighery.

When Nearhos was appointed, he said Virgin Australia’s relationships with agencies wouldn’t be under immediate review, noting DDB “has been doing a really great job”.

Virgin Australia today, however, said the media account is under review because “we regularly review our relationships with partners and suppliers”.

Carat, too, has seen a fair amount of change over the past 12 months, with CEO Paul Brooks resigning, and the loss of a series of key clients including the $20m Amart account, and Mondelez International, worth around $40m.

Brooks has since popped up as the Sydney sales lead for Nine, while Dentsu Aegis Network’s chief client solutions officer Simon Williams was promoted to be Carat’s national managing director.

Last month, Carat’s CMO Andrea Rule also departed after two years in the role, to become head of enterprise sales for LinkedIn’s marketing solutions arm.

Carat is part of the Dentsu Aegis Network, which is now led by Henry Tajer, following the departure of Simon Ryan.


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