CRISPIN PORTER WINS VIRGIN ATLANTIC ACCOUNT

Review Abruptly Ended by Airline's Marketing VP

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Virgin Group's Virgin Atlantic Airways, Norwalk, Conn., has awarded its $15 million U.S. advertising account to Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, Miami, the company said.

Virgin Atlantic's vice president for

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North American marketing, John Riordan, abruptly ended the review by choosing Crispin over five other contenders -- Omnicom Group's Merkley Newman Harty and TBWA/Chiat/Day, both New York; Interpublic Group of Cos.' Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., and Mullen, Wenham, Mass; and WPP Group's Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, New York, which voluntarily withdrew from the review last month.

Initially, the review was to be narrowed to two or three finalists, one of which would have been chosen in June. Mr. Riordan apparently felt Crispin Porter was the best fit and decided not to proceed further.

CMG Communications, New York, which did not participate in the review, was Virgin Atlantic's previous agency. Consultant Roth Associates, New York, conducted the search.

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