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SAVERS SCRAMBLE FOR EGG

News, 01 August 1999

RICHARD BRANSON’S endorsement of the multiplicity of Virgin brands is no longer the customer magnet that he and his cohorts might hope, according to a survey carried out by Taylor Nelson Sofres for Marketing magazine. A 1,000-strong sample was questioned on its attitudes to Branson and the Virgin brand: 72% said Branson’s name or face would make absolutely no difference to their purchasing decisions, whilst half the remainder saw his endorsement as a distinct turn-off. Over half the interviewees would ‘definitely not’ buy Virgin clothes, and 64% would not purchase Virgin Vie cosmetics. However, Virgin Atlantic, was viewed positively by most of the group - although one in five would ‘definitely not fly’ on a Virgin plane. A general belief that Branson is a favourite with the young was also scotched by the survey, although a Virgin spokesman played down these findings as the radical beliefs of youth, claiming: ‘The 15-24 age group are less likely to buy something endorsed by anyone. They are very cynical about corporations.’