Branson hijacks Widow to recast her as Virgin
Friday 07 June 1996
The airline owner, balloonist and former condom retailer has even hired the same actress, Roger Moore's daughter, Debbie, to dress up in a similar black cloak. Appearing as the leading man in the series of promotional photos is Mr Branson himself. Scottish Widows, the Edinburgh-based insurer, replaced the actress last year, but there is little doubt as to Mr Branson's satirical intentions.
In one of Virgin Life's shots the actress pulls open her cloak to reveal a Virgin tee-shirt bearing the slogan "Get a Life".
Another features Mr Branson whispering in the widow's ear, the widow reacting with a look of outrage. A third has her mounting a Ferrari-red motor-bike displaying the Virgin logo, while the ubiquitous Branson reaches over her shoulder to grasp the handlebar.
Scottish Widows had problems weighing up an appropriate response yesterday. There is no copyright on young women dressed in black cloaks. Inside the company, reaction ranged from surprise and shock to downright displeasure.
Finally a terse statement was released, saying the Virgin campaign merely reflects Scottish Widows' brand strength and pointing out that Deborah Moore's contract ended 16 months ago, when she left to pursue an acting career.
Earlier in the day Scottish Widows' public relations department toyed with the idea of denouncing Virgin's spoof ads, an expression of pleasure that Mr Branson saw the value of the Widow's brand name, and an attempt to create a sound bite along the lines of, "You can't make a Virgin out of a Widow."
The Scots thought better of this more extreme reaction, since it would be likely to provide Mr Branson with even more publicity - something he craves above all else. Neutral observers were left marvelling once again at his ability to attract attention to wildly different Virgin brands and products.
- 1 Mystery of the Siberian holes at the end of the world 'solved': Scientists offer explanation
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 Sean Hannity reacts to Russell Brand's Israel-Gaza criticism: 'You're a dumb actor known for your failed marriage to Katy Perry'
Lost portraits of the Somme: 100 images of Tommies posing before they went over the top. Now can you help to identify them?
Mystery of the Siberian holes at the end of the world 'solved': Scientists offer explanation
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Ashley Cole tweets unsettling meme of him stalking ex-wife Cheryl Cole and new husband Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Financial Analyst, Forecasting, Halifax, Banking,...
£500 per day: Orgtel: Business Architect - Banking - Bristol - £500 per day A...
£200 - £500 per day + competitive: Orgtel: I am currently working on a large p...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...