ATOC takes on McCann to 'rebuild confidence'

McCann-Erickson has won the pounds 5 million task of persuading

travellers to once more trust Britain's railways.

McCann defeated Lowe Lintas, Virgin Trains' agency, Rainey Kelly

Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, and the Association of Train Operating Companies

(ATOC) incumbent, BMP DDB, in a four-way pitch for the brief awarded by

the ATOC.

Universal McCann will handle media planning and buying for the


The ATOC, which represents all of Britain's major train companies,

including Virgin and Great Northern Eastern Railways, will ask McCann to

rebuild the public's confidence in the rail network following the fatal

crash at Hatfield and the chronic disruptions that followed.

BMP had been appointed to handle the ATOC's pounds 400,000 press

campaign asking the public to be patient while improvements to the

network were made, in September 1999.

However, last year's sustained crisis has left the ATOC in need of a

more concentrated advertising burst.

McCann will create TV, poster and radio ads arguing that travellers

should return to rail to see for themselves the improvements that have

been made.

The go-ahead for the concerted push was given just before Easter, after

the final agreement of Railtrack and the Strategic Rail Authority.

In February, McCann picked up the pounds 6 million launch campaign for

Railtrack's new travel website,, after a pitch against

TBWA/Tequila and WWAV Rapp Collins.

Totaljourney, a joint venture with the bus operator Firstgroup that is

due to launch this summer, is intended to promote the use of railways

through integrating rail bookings with flight arrangements and hotel


The ATOC campaign will run parallel to marketing pushes planned by the

individual train operating companies.

GNER has appointed AMD Advertising to handle a pounds 5 million

above-the-line campaign that was postponed in the aftermath of the Selby

crash this year.

Virgin Trains is expected to continue its 'as usual' TV ads through

Rainey Kelly.

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