M6 toll road firm hires head of marketing

Midlands Expressway, the private consortium behind the building and operation of the UK’s first toll motorway, has appointed Steven Boffey as its head of marketing.

Boffey was previously marketing and retail controller for high-speed ferry operator Hoverspeed, where he worked for four years. Before Hoverspeed he was BP Balkans business and development manager.

At Hoverspeed, Boffey developed new revenue streams for the company, to make up for the loss of duty free, which was abolished in 1999. Initiatives included a national press campaign in April 2000 to promote Hoverspeed’s ticket upgrade service, “1st”.

The M6 Toll Road is a six-lane highway due to be completed in January 2004. It runs for 26 miles around Birmingham and is designed to cut congestion on the M6. The price has yet to be set, but is expected to be £2.50 a journey.

Boffey will be involved in appointing agencies to the project’s advertising, media and website design accounts. The hunt has been under way since January and there are two unnamed agencies on the advertising shortlist.

He will have full responsibility for the marketing budget, which has still to be set. Managing director Tom Fanning says that it is important to begin marketing early because the company will have to persuade 100,000 drivers a day to use the road if it is to be commercially viable.

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