Virgin Atlantic Airways Splits With CMG

NEW YORK Virgin Atlantic Airways has launched a search for a new ad agency in the U.S., as it splits with incumbent agency CMG Communications in New York, the client said.

Managing the search is New York consultancy Roth Associates. CMG, which has handled creative duties on the account since 1994, will not defend, Virgin Atlantic said.

Spending on the brand has fluctuated in recent years, with CMR reporting $5 million in measured media spending in the first 10 months of 2002, after a total of $19 million in 2001. In 2000, the total was about $9 million, according to CMR.

“Virgin Atlantic would not be what it is today without CMG Communications,” said John Riordan, vp of marketing, North America, in a statement. “Although we are still happy with their creative and service, we have regrettably come to the conclusion that CMG may not have the depth of resources for our future growth.”

The client has not yet decided whether media duties, now at Carat in New York, will be part of the review.

Virgin Atlantic, which is based in Norwalk, Conn., hopes to select a new creative agency by May.