Times and Virgin in advert row

Virgin Mobile has suspended advertising in The Times following a dispute last weekend in which the company claims the paper refused to carry one its adverts.

Orange sponsored last Friday’s edition of the paper and ran a series of adverts through the paper showcasing its mobile phone deals. The Virgin Mobile advert, which elaborated on Orange’s offers, was booked for Saturday’s edition but it didn’t run.

Virgin Mobile might now run the advert in other nationals, labelling it the ad The Times wouldn’t run.

However, Paul Hayes, general manager at Times Newspapers Limited, denied the paper pulled the advert.

He said: “We received Virgin’s copy for its ad very late in the day on Friday and due to the contentious nature of the copy we had to ensure that our usual compliance protocol could be followed.

“The timing meant that this could not be completed in time for Saturday’s paper and we talked to Virgin about running the ad in The Times this week. We are very surprised to see that Virgin has taken this stance in the media.”

A Virgin Mobile spokesperson said: “There was a dispute, which we were surprised at and we hope it doesn’t happen again.”

By Mary Stevens

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