Wessex Trains has appointed Doner Cardwell Hawkins (DCH) to handle its &£1m advertising account. DCH won the business for the National Express-owned train operating company after a three-way pitch against Roose and Golley Slater & Partners.
Incumbent HHC Advertising of Bristol also handled media planning and buying. DCH picks up the media planning, while buying moves to a National Express roster agency called The Piper Agency. The pitch was overseen by communications manager Ian Beattie.
Wessex Trains is based in Exeter and operates local and long-distance services in the Wessex region from Cardiff to Portsmouth and Penzance to Bristol. It was created a year ago from the former Wales and West Passenger Trains franchise to operate services in the West Country.
Snack food company Ginsters signed up to a three-year sponsorship deal with the train operator in September (MW September 26). Under the deal, 12 trains will be branded in the Ginsters livery.
National Express operates several train companies, including Silverlink, c2c, Midlands Mainline, ScotRail and Central Trains.
Wessex Trains picked up negative press in national newspapers last month when it revealed plans to reintroduce Fifties rolling stock to Cornish branch lines.