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.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here