The through-the-line agency, Interfocus, has been appointed to handle
South Eastern Railways’ entire account, which could be worth as much as
pounds 4 million, as the client prepares for privatisation later this
The above-the-line business was previously held by Maher Bird
Associates, but the agency was given notice in January that its contract
would not be renewed when the financial year ended in March.
Interfocus had carried out project work for South Eastern Railways
before being appointed to handle the whole business last week. It
produced the current Eurostar campaign, which aims to encourage
consumers to book their tickets through South Eastern Railways’ offices.
Interfocus is also working on a new leisure campaign, which will break
at Easter using a cross section of media.
Most of the media for previous South Eastern Railway campaigns was
handled by Eurospace. Although MBS booked the space for the current
Eurostar drive, there was no formal agreement, so a full-scale media
review is likely.
Maher Bird denied it been given notice to quit and said it would
continue as a roster agency when the new financial year begins next
The client could not be reached for comment. However, Matthew Hooper,
the managing director of Interfocus, confirmed the win.
Stephen Maher, managing director at Maher Bird, said: ‘As with all
public sector companies, there is a one-year contract. No new contract
has yet been drawn up.’
Penny Austin, commercial director of South Eastern Railways, commented:
‘I don’t see a role for Maher Bird in the future, although it will be
allowed to pitch for smaller projects.’