Virgin Australia shortlists four agencies as pitch process continues

Virgin Australia has shortlisted four agencies who are currently undergoing a competitive pitch for the airline’s creative account.

Mumbrella understands DDB, M&C Saatchi, TBWA Sydney and Clemenger BBDO Sydney, who previously held the creative account, are all involved.

The airline confirmed there was a creative pitch in early March, just three months after former Telstra marketer Inese Kingsmill was brought into Virgin Australia Group.

Prior to that, the airline decided to bring most of its creative in-house in an attempt to save $300m by 2019.

Michael Dole was appointed as in-house executive creative director on a contract basis, however, Mumbrella understands Dole is no longer working with the brand.

Mumbrella also understands Clemenger BBDO Sydney did not work with the brand for the latter half of last year, however, it has been given another chance to compete for the account.

M&C Saatchi’s involvement follows the agency’s losing Etihad, after a global review in October last year.

Speaking at Mumbrella’s Travel Marketing Summit earlier this month, Kingsmill said customer experience was at the core of the creative brief for the four advertising agencies.

This is a heartfelt brand. It’s a brand people need to feel,” Kingsmill said at the Summit.

“An appreciation and the ability to tap into those sensibilities and what it means to be Virgin and Virgin Australia is first and foremost.

“Secondly, the ability to be able to create impactful loveable and consistent brand platforms. No brand stands still; it needs to build and evolve and remain relevant to achieve sustainable and profitable growth,” she said.

“The final thing is whilst there are a small number of agencies that you would call advertising agencies we’re chatting with, the centre of this brief is not advertising.

“The centre of this brief is bringing the vision to life in line with the Virgin Australia brand values, and putting the customer experience at the centre.”

Mumbrella has approached Virgin Australia, Clemenger BBDO Sydney and M&C Saatchi for comment. TBWA Sydney and DDB declined to comment.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.