WCRS wins final pitch for 10m rail campaign

The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) is thought to have appointed WCRS to its £10m advertising business to encourage off-peak travel in London and the South-east.

The Engine Group-owned agency won the account following a final pitch against RKCR/Y&R. Ogilvy Advertising is understood to have been knocked out.

The pitch was overseen by The Haystack Group.

It is understood the trade association wants to publicise the simplification of rail fares across the National Rail network through a new campaign, to be developed by WCRS. The agency was unavailable for comment.

ATOC has been looking to appoint an advertising agency since June ahead of the second phase of a “simplified” rail ticketing system (MW June 12).

The second phase was implemented earlier this month with just two categories for buying day travel tickets – called Anytime and Off-peak. Off-peak tickets carry restrictions on the time and date of travel.

The first phase of simplification was rolled out in May this year when all fares purchased before the date of travel became known as “Advance”.

The changes in the rail fares aim to make it easier for train users to buy the best value ticket.
When the changes were introduced, ATOC commercial director David Mapp called it the “biggest shake-up in fares and ticketing system for many years”.

ATOC represents a number of train operators, including Virgin Trains, National Express and FirstGroup.

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