Eurostar shelves ad plans after Channel Tunnel fire

eurostarEurostar has postponed all of its major marketing and advertising plans for the next three months, including celebrating the first anniversary of its move to St Pancras, following the fire in the Channel Tunnel last month.

The rail service operator was planning to launch a new strategy focusing on add-on services ahead of the end of its monopoly on the service. Operators such as Air France are expected to launch services by 2010.

It has scrapped all plans for promotional campaigns until the end of January next year, and it has also cancelled plans to mark the first anniversary of its move from Waterloo to St Pancras on November 14. The operator says its focus on urging people to travel only if necessary was in the aftermath of the fire and that services are now close to normal. However, Eurostar is still at 93% of its total capacity and has also limited train speed inside the tunnel to just over 100mph. It travels at its normal speed of 186mph on either side of the tunnel.

Nick Mercer, Eurostar commercial director, says: “We do not want to send out conflicting messages through promotional campaigns and confuse customers. Our anniversary celebrations will be very low key and our major campaigns will not roll out until we get a clear picture about the tunnel.”

Last month, head of marketing Greg Nugent announced he was stepping back from the role to handle special projects for the company. The operator has promoted sales director Emma Harris to the new role of director of sales and marketing (UK and international).

Harris will lead the repositioning drive for Eurostar, which is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2009.

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