SWT to combine DM and digital accounts

South West Trains is gearing up for a review of its dir-ect marketing and digital accounts. It is understood that it may invite agencies to pitch for the business later in the year.

The train operator, which is part of travel group Stagecoach, is thought to have appointed Haystack to review its current strategy and oversee any future pitch, although it is believed to have already contacted more than 20 agencies, including Stagecoach’s roster agencies.

It is believed to be looking to consolidate both DM and digital into one shop. South West Trains currently works with TBDA, which handles its e-mail marketing.

The review comes over a month after the train operator appointed Rocket, the Omnicom-owned agency that is part of the Phd group.

The £2m media planning and buying account was awarded to the agency following a pitch against a number of undisclosed agencies.

Rocket is working on a new service that will offer travellers tickets at cheaper rates the earlier they book them.

The annual turnover for South West Trains during the 2006/07 financial year was £559.6m and it oversaw 175 million passenger journeys.

At the end of last year the operator appointed former VisitLondon UK marketing manager Lucy Thompson as its marketing chief (MW October 4, 2007).

Thompson, who was involved in the appointment of Rocket, has been charged with lifting the profile of the train brand, but denied SWT has started a review of the DM or digital accounts.

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