Virgin targets 5m cheap contract additions through own channels

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Virgin Mobile has practically exited the independent channel, including high street retail, because of the cost of acquisition. It aims to boost its meagre contract subscriber base by signing 400,000 customers this year from parent company Virgin Medias base, which numbers around five million. Sales to group customers will be direct, and see it pull back further from the channel.

Meanwhile, Virgin Mobile has restructured its marketing team ahead of the arrival of new managing director Graeme Oxby next week.

Jonathan Kini, who ran Virgin Mobiles supply chain and logistics, has taken the role of director of commercial. Kini takes over responsibility from former Virgin Mobile sales and distribution director Rob Shardlow for all commercial contracts, including network relations and handset purchasing. Shardlow has taken the role of group sales director at Virgin Media.

Under Virgin Media, Kinis job will differ from former Virgin Mobile commercial director Joe Steels role, with much of the slack taken up at group level.

Likewise, the role of Virgin Mobile managing director, which Oxby takes on September 3, is reduced in terms of administrative and financial scope.

Tim Dowling, who was in charge of prepay and contract, has been appointed director of the consumer proposition.

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