Charles Walls beats six to win £3.5m GNER account

The agency, which already holds some business, pitched against the other incumbent Burkitt DDB, J Walter Thompson, WCRS, Team Saatchi, HHCL & Partners and The Union.

Great North Eastern Railway (GNER) has handed Leeds-based Charles Walls its combined advertising business, understood to be worth &£3.5m.

The agency, which already holds some business, pitched against the other incumbent Burkitt DDB, J Walter Thompson, WCRS, Team Saatchi, HHCL & Partners and The Union.

The review, which took place over six months, was called because the company wants to develop a stronger communications strategy for the brand.

Burkitt DDB handled the brand work for first class and business travel on a project basis. Charles Walls handled the day-to-day advertising for leisure and price-led advertising. The win includes below and above-the-line advertising activity. The review was overseen by sales and marketing director Lysanne McCallion, who has been with the company for two years. MediaVest Manchester is understood to have retained media buying.

GNER is still awaiting confirmation that it has retained the contract to run the lucrative East Coast main line.

At the end of last year senior rail company insiders suggested it will be given a shorter extension to its current contract instead of the expected 20-year contract, while the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority considers options for increasing capacity on the over-burdened East Coast tracks. GNER is competing against Virgin’s joint bid with Stagecoach.

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