Profile, profile, which profile?

Last week many news outlets carried a story that a Virgin Atlantic employee had allegedly fed details of celebrities’ flights to a photo agency. The stories all reported widespread concern about how the carrier respected the privacy and managed the security for high-profile individuals.

But that wasn’t the only message they sent out about Virgin Atlantic. There were also messages of who you might share a VS flight with – Cheryl Cole, Nicole Scherzinger, Robbie Williams, Princess Beatrice. Far from potentially losing Virgin business because of their revelations of apparently shoddy processes, the media had told devotees of Hello! what carrier to fly if they wanted to see young, trend-setting celebs at the check-in queue.

Just like the effect of buying a designer handbag, you too could be transformed into that kind of person if you too flew Virgin.

Only the cynical would believe that Virgin released a story of alleged impropriety by an ex-employee as a way of promoting its brand.

But the fact remains – the broadsheets may have run the story as an example of how people’s privacy had been invaded but readers don’t receive single messages.

They have been told what airline Sienna Miller, Gwyneth Paltrow and Scarlett Johansson choose to fly.

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