Viacom Outdoor has won the Great North Eastern Railway’s (GNER) &£5m business. Maiden Outdoor was the incumbent.
The win marks Viacom’s first success in breaking into the mainline railway sector. It won the in-carriage advertising business for Central Trains last month.
Viacom says it has been looking to break into the mainline railways market for some time, and a number of further railway contracts are due to come up for renewal shortly, all of which are held by Maiden. Maiden managing director David Pugh says: “This has come as a surprise to us, because the company failed to alert us to any competitive pitch, if there was one.”
Maiden was the incumbent for British Rail before its privatisation in 1997, and existing contracts were assigned to the newly privatised operators. Earlier this year, Great Western Railways was the first contract to be renegotiated. The company chose to stay with Maiden.
Viacom already holds the contracts to sell advertising and sponsorships for the London Underground and Docklands Light Railway, as well as a variety of tram and bus deals.
The seven-year GNER contract takes effect from January 1, 2004. It gives Viacom exclusive rights to sell advertising at all its stations, apart from King’s Cross, as well as a remit to develop new income streams for the railway company.
GNER holds the franchise for the East Coast mainline between London and Edinburgh.
Transportation Displays Incorporated rebranded in 2001 as Viacom Outdoor after it was bought by US media giant Viacom.