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Virgin Mobile appoints Mother to handle $20m US ad account

NEW YORK – Mother has won Virgin Mobile's $20m US advertising account after the company parted ways with Publicis Groupe agency Fallon.

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Virgin said the move was partly connected with Fallon's decision in July to close its New York office as a full-service agency. The closure came after New York president Anne Bologna and executive creative director Ari Merkin chose to leave to found their own agency.

At the time it was speculated that the agency's hold on clients including Virgin Mobile, Time and Starbucks bottled drinks could be in doubt.

The account win follows Mother's work on a number of projects for Virgin Mobile over the last few months, according to Howard Handler, Virgin Mobile's chief strategy and brand officer. Fallon had worked with Virgin Mobile since April 2003.

He added that media buying would remain with the Publicis Groupe agency Starlink, but that media planning, which was held by Fallon, was being reviewed.

The loss of Virgin Mobile follows a number of other losses for Fallon including most recently the $30m Lee Jeans account and Subway Restaurants.

Eighteen months ago Mother hired Fallon creatives Linus Karlsson and Paul Malmstrom, who were once described as 'the hottest team in the world', to head the agency's New York office. While at Fallon the pair had worked on Virgin Mobile among other accounts.

In the UK Virgin Mobile works with Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, whose most recent work was its ad starring Kate Moss. 

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