Virgin boasts new customer record following Bolt, Farah ad campaign

Virgin Media's advertising campaign featuring Olympic stars Usain Bolt and Mo Farah seems to have helped boost the company's popularity, with Virgin today revealing an upsurge in subscribers.

The TV and broadband firm said it added 60,000 new customers to its superfast broadband service in the last three months, more than double for the same quarter last year. The number of Virgin's new cable customers grew by 39,500, meanwhile.

It is the company's best rate of growth in broadband customers since the first quarter of 2010. As a result, revenue was up 2.8 per cent to £1.03 billion for the three months.

In a statement made by the company, Virgin said the percentage of people dropping the service during the quarter fell from 1.7 per cent to 1.4 per cent, adding that this lower rate was due to improved broadband speeds and the popularity of its TiVo digital service.

"This has been a quarter where continued strong demand for superfast broadband and TiVo has led to lower churn and meaningful cable customer growth. Combined with progress in our business division, we have again delivered solid financial progress", said chief executive Neil Berkett.

In January, 100m Olympic champion Usain Bolt appeared in Virgin Media adverts promoting their superfast broadband network having signed a £2 million deal.

In August, shortly after the Olympics, British long distance champion Mo Farah signed on to appear in similar billboard adverts for Virgin, after winning the gold in 5,000m and 10,000m. That deal is estimated to be worth £2.5 million.

The campaign using the Olympians has been a success, according to Virgin Media.

"The Olympics was the perfect showcase of the Virgin Media network. We had high-profile Olympians fronting our brand and that resonated with customers. The results show that UK customers want faster speeds and are prepared to pay for it", said Eamonn O'Hare, chief financial officer at Virgin Media.