Virgin Mobile Media Buying Account in Play

LOS ANGELES–Virgin Mobile has launched a review for its estimated $50 million media buying account, sources said.

Vying for the business are Palisades Media Group in Santa Monica, Calif.; Omnicom’s PHD in San Francisco and New York; and Pro Media in Natick, Mass., sources said. PMG handled the fourth-quarter media buy for Virgin Mobile; Pro Media handles buying for parent company Virgin Group’s travel-agency arm, Virgin Vacations; and PHD partners with creative and media planning shop Leagas Delaney in San Francisco.

Leagas, which won Virgin Mobile in November 2001 (the service launched in June), is coordinating the search. Presentations are scheduled for next week, sources said. The San Francisco-based client is expected to name a winner before the end of this month.

Leagas broke its first ads for Virgin Mobile in August.

The client could not immediately be reached. Leagas and the media shops declined comment.