Van Wagner picks up Network Rail

Network Rail, formerly Railtrack, has awarded the contract to manage its bridge-span advertising sites to the large-format outdoor advertising company Van Wagner.

The win will bring in millions of pounds in advertising revenue for Van Wagner, and will double the number of its sites to 200. This is the first time the company has obtained sites outside London since it was set up in 1999.

There are about 100 Network Rail sites, and they were part of Maiden Outdoor’s Network Rail portfolio. Network Rail, however, decided to reorganise Maiden’s contract and offer the sites separately. Maiden, JC Decaux and Van Wagner all submitted bids last year (MW August 1, 2002).

Van Wagner sales and marketing director Kevin Shute says the company will begin building sites next month in the ten major UK cities where the sites are. They include Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester: “We will continue to be flexible so that advertisers can still buy sites individually rather than having to buy a package,” he adds.

The contract, which comes in to effect from April, runs for 15 years. Network Rail’s other contracts, expected to be put up for tender at the end of this year, run for five years. But Network Rail commercial advertising manager Yan Huybrechts has hinted that these may also be extended.

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