How ASICS earned a rightful place in health and well-being conversations

By Natasha Weeks, Executive Director, Consumer Health

Virgo Health’s Natasha Weeks, discusses how the recent ASICS Mind Games campaign earned a rightful place in health and well-being conversations.

Sometimes we have a hunch. We know the likely outcome. But how do we ensure meaningful data is behind those headline-grabbing stats? Today, ASICS launched Mind Games: The Experiment. We all know that exercise is good for our mental health, but could it improve the mental performance of even the brightest minds?  

To bring this concept to life, we could have easily asked an expert or commissioned a survey. But would that earn a place in the global health and wellbeing conversation? Not anymore. In order to generate an evidence-based consumer story, we blended Virgo Health’s informed healthcare expertise with Golin’s powerhouse consumer team to help ASICS co-ordinate a global experiment in partnership with renowned researcher in movement and mind, Professor Dr Brendon Stubbs

Targeting inactive competitor gamers, specialising in mind games from Chess to Esports, we recruited 77 people who rely on their cognitive function from across 22 countries and matched them up with personal trainers. We put them on a training programme designed by runner turned international coach, Andrew Kastor, including medium impact cardio and strength training. The gamers gradually increased their exercise levels to 150 minutes per week and Professor Stubbs measured the mental improvement of the participants based on their performance in their mind games, cognitive tests and wellbeing questionnaires over the course of a four-month research period. The results showed vast improvement in their cognitive functioning, including concentration levels and problem-solving abilities.

So, could exercise be the key to boosting brain power ASICS? Pass me my trainers. 

Virgo London launches gender neutral family leave, plus women’s health policies

By Rebecca Hall, Group HR Director 

It’s no secret that women’s careers are impacted by starting a family, but there are many areas of women’s health and women’s lives that can contribute to a lack of career equity. That’s why today I’m pleased to announce Golin London and Virgo Health’s enhanced gender-neutral, family friendly leave, as well as our newly-updated women’s health policies.  

The comprehensive new programme of policies focusses on supporting women’s wellbeing through key life moments, tackling taboos, as well as to helping mothers and fathers to build a more equitable share of the care as they start their path as a family.  All policies were carefully developed in consultation with stakeholders from across the business, including our DEI Director and our employee relationship groups for working mothers and the LGBTQIA+ community.


Our new gender-neutral policy on family friendly leave enables parents to benefit from two options for leave, depending on whether you are the primary or secondary caregiver. This policy is inclusive of whether the child may be yours or your partner’s child, adopted, or a surrogate child. We are also enhancing our family friendly pay up to six months full pay for our employees who are primary caregivers, regardless of gender, and 6 weeks paid leave for secondary careers. We’ve mirrored this in our Shared Parental Leave pay. 

We also updated our women’s health policies to empower our people to ask for the help they need in key life stages or if affected by women’s health conditions. One in 10 women live with difficult and painful symptoms from endometriosis, 1 in 4 women have left jobs due to feeling unwell due to menopause, and many women don’t feel supported or able to talk up in the workplace about difficult life moments around fertility, pregnancy loss and gynaecological health. Our suite of menopause, fertility, period and pregnancy loss policies, alongside our new partnership with The Eve Appeal which focuses on gynaecological health, aim to help build greater awareness and support for women’s health in the workplace.  


Our first new policy focuses on giving those experiencing the menopause the help and time they need to look after themselves, as well as knowledge and education for colleagues and line managers to ensure we collectively know how best to support each other.  The policy includes ten additional days paid leave for anyone experiencing the menopause, or for those supporting a friend or family member experiencing it.  


We are also introducing a menstruation policy to assist employees suffering from symptoms, or those with conditions such as Endometriosis, Dysmenorrhea, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) to name a few. We recognise that this can really impact our employees and our policy allows employees to take up to ten additional days paid leave to take some time out to focus on their wellbeing.  


We are also introducing a fertility policy, offering those going through fertility treatment, or supporting someone going through treatment, ten additional days paid leave. This is alongside a policy offering support and additional time, for anyone tragically impacted by pregnancy or baby loss.   


Through our partnership with the Eve Appeal, we also commit to being flexible and understanding, to breaking the taboos that exist around gynae health and creating a workplace that encourages women to attend life-saving screening appointments. To ensure we are raising awareness and guiding colleagues and line managers in how to support each other, each new policy will be accompanied by specific line management toolkits as well as workshops and webinars for employees. 

Virgo Health wins Agency of the Year at PRWeek Healthcare Awards

We are absolutely over the moon to share that Virgo has just won Agency of the Year at the PRWeek Healthcare& Pharma Comms Awards.

Up against seven other shortlisted healthcare agencies, the write up says it all: ‘Truly innovative and creative thinking that’s kept its culture as vibrant as ever in a virtual world. By living and breathing its values Virgo Health continues to thrive, unlocking unprecedented growth, developing new client relationships and cementing existing ones, all while putting its people and their wellbeing first to create a true agency for the future.’

We couldn’t be prouder of this amazing team, very single person has contributed to our incredible success, creative work and growth this year helping make Virgo the very best it can be.

Here’s to a brilliant team and an even better 2022!

Virgo sparks | creativity with | Go All Outside

As the UK Government encourages workers back into the office, we want our people get back outside and get inspired, not just back into the building. So today we’re launching Go All Outside, a programme designed to do just that.

Every fortnight for the next six months, two people at Virgo Health and Golin will receive an extra two days off and an expenses-paid trip of their choice with a friend or partner. The only condition is to do something that inspires their curiosity.

“Go All Outside is about helping our people to connect with the world again and inspire their curiosity. We want to encourage the team to explore new places and those they’ve missed, meet new people and connect with old friends, be inspired and inspire others,” said Ondine Whittington, Golin and Virgo Health MD.

“Curiosity and creativity is vital in the PR industry, but lockdown undoubtedly impaired our ability to nurture curiosity. Go All Outside gives our team a chance to reenergise, but also critically to find inspiration in new places and people that will inspire creativity in our work for our clients.” Whittington added.

To receive the trip team members will nominate their colleagues who are going above and beyond in their work or in their teams, acts of kindness and support, and making the agency and our work better through teaching and inspiring others.

“Lockdown has given us the opportunity to reimagine how, when and where we work, Go All Outside is part of a whole new approach to how we thrive as a team to deliver the best work of our lives for our clients. As we begin the next phase of this journey, the goal is to ensure our people feel happy, refreshed and inspired about how we come back into the world as an agency,” said Rebecca Hall, Group HR Director.