Maiden loses Merseyrail to Viacom but retains National Express brief

Maiden Outdoor has lost its contract to sell advertising on train operating company Merseyrail, but has retained the contract for the railway “super franchise” National Express.

The outdoor company pitched against Viacom Outdoor for both Merseyrail and National Express.

Maiden has already lost out to Viacom, when the US-owned media giant snatched its GNER contract last year (MW December 4, 2003). Maiden recently retained First Great Western and South Eastern Trains. However it is pitching against Viacom for its remaining train operators’ contracts, which are all up for review this year.

Viacom will take over the running of Liverpool-based Merseyrail from the beginning of April. The train company operates about 67 stations in the Liverpool area. The contract is worth about £600,000 a year for Viacom. A Maiden insider claims the business accounted for less than two per cent of its train-operating revenue.

Viacom, which has the contract to sell the advertising on London Underground, is also planning to pitch for the contract to manage advertising at Network Rail’s stations, which includes all London mainline stations and Liverpool and Manchester (MW December 18, 2003).

“We have made no secret of our desire to win more rail business,” says Viacom managing director Andrew Oldham. “We have a fresh approach to rail advertising and people like the stuff we have done on the Underground.”

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