South West Trains in talks with agencies over first ads

South West Trains (SWT), the rail franchise run by bus company Stagecoach, is seeking an agency to run its first ad campaign and is drawing up a long-list of six agencies.

The operator, which runs services out of Waterloo, has put the account out to tender through agency search specialist the AAR Group. A spokeswoman for SWT says: “We are tendering for advertising services. It is taking place under our franchise regulations.” However, she refuses to make further comment or to say which agencies the company is talking to.

It is thought to be the first time SWT has hired an ad agency and it has done no advertising since privatisation. It is understood the operator is planning to run a branding campaign for its services.

The rail operator has drawn up a list of six and will slim it down to three agencies in the next week. South West Trains expects to spend 800,000 this year, although it is expected to boost this to more than 1m in the future.

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