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Virgin offers 30 auctions in 30 days using rival telco’s unused mobile data as currency

Unused data is currency in Virgin Mobile's auction.

Unused data can be used to bid on real world auction items in new Virgin campaign

Virgin Mobile, no stranger to clever PR stunts, launched its first work with new agency Whybin/TBWA – an online auction that allows unused mobile plan data to be used as currency to bid on items.

The ambitious stunt kicked off over the weekend with the telco urging post-paid customers sick of seeing their data disappear at the end of the billing cycle to use what had been wasted to bid on Facebook for prizes such as tropical island holidays.

In an early shot across the bows of rival Telstra, Virgin offered a premium spot on a Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras float – a direct response to Telstra’s back-down on supporting gay marriage in the face of pressure from the Catholic church – as the prize for the winner of today’s auction.

Virgin will auction 30 items over the next 30 days, using the rolling auctions as a platform to promote its data rollover plans.

The auctions will run between 7:00pm and 8:00pm each day, with winners having to prove they have unused data with their telco provider.

PR agency Eleven is spearheading the promotional aspect of the campaign while Whybin/TBWA created an ad in support of the effort.

“As the only mobile provider to exclusively offer data roll-over on our postpaid plans we wanted to create a campaign that would fire up conversation and really engage consumers to think about their current plans,”  said Philippa Durant, head of brand and customer marketing at Virgin Mobile Australia.

The mobile company has enjoyed considerable success with PR-driven campaigns in the past, such as Doug Pitt and Warren.

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Simon Canning

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