Bulldog Lands Virgin

Once deemed an underdog in the Virgin Entertainment review, Bulldog Drummond has landed the account.

The business, originally worth an estimated $25 million and covering the Virgin Megastores and affiliated online businesses, was awarded following a lengthy and somewhat disjointed review. The San Diego shop is expected to launch a campaign by year’s end.

The win is a major coup for Bulldog, which went head-to-head with Grey Worldwide and 120, both Los Angeles, Ground Zero in Marina del Rey, Calif., Leagas Delaney, San Francisco, and possibly other shops.

Palisades Media Group, Los Angeles, handles media chores.

“It’s a very good fit for our business and simpatico with our brand,” said Glen Ward, president and CEO of Virgin in Los Angeles. “They are a very hungry team down there.”

Spending was originally projected at $25 million, bumping Bulldog’s billings to $40-50 million. But that may be cut in half.

Some saw Ground Zero, which worked on the Virgin Cola launch in 1998 and was personally asked to pitch by Ward, as a more likely choice. But Bulldog has surprised before, beating incumbent Dailey & Associates, West Hollywood, Calif., for a Union 76 job in March and other prominent shops for Airwalk earlier this year.

“Virgin is one of the most unique and compelling brands in the world,” said Bulldog principal Shawn Parr. “We’re just thrilled.”

Ads are due first for the bricks-and-mortar and online Megastores, Ward said, and later for Virgin’s JamCast and Radio Free Virgin.

The review began in May and was expected to be quick. But Virgin initiated a new review process in July.