Virgin Atlantic was founded in the early 1980s, and as with most of Branson’s projects, it was born in an attempt to offer people a better experience. In this case, an alternative to British Airways (BA), which wielded an extremely powerful influence at London’s Heathrow Airport but offered bad food, bad entertainment and bad service.
However BA would not go down without a fight. Ever since Virgin Atlantic started doing business, BA has tried to squeeze it out of the competition, even using “dirty tricks” that involved printing libelous remarks about the company.
Though the libel suit against BA was settled with Branson being awarded damages, he prefers to win simply by being the best airline in the business, not by being in the courtroom.
Branson is also always keen to improve and take a shot at his competition. At one point Virgin Atlantic began offering in-flight massages. Branson advertised this by putting up a sign at Heathrow that read, “BA Don’t Give a Shiatsu.”
And when BA was spending huge amounts sponsoring the London Eye in the 1990s, and running into all kinds of technical problems that left the giant ferris wheel stranded on its side, Branson jumped at the chance to hire a blimp displaying the message, “BA CAN’T GET IT UP.”
Cheekiness and great service; that’s the Virgin way.
It would be great to hear any ideas on how this could be implemented into the UK Nuclear Industry to help raise the sectors profile and dispell any misperceptions...and have a little fun!
From an overview of Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson.