East Coast Mainline to review £7m ad account

The East Coast Mainline, whose ads currently feature the comedian Vic Reeves, has put its £7m advertising account up for review.

East Coast Mainline: welcome to by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
East Coast Mainline: welcome to by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

The train operator has issued a tender on OJEU inviting agencies to pitch for the business, which is under a statutory review.

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO is the incumbent on the business and was responsible for creating the current 'Welcome To' advertising campaign that features comedian Vic Reeves. The ad, promoting its First Class service, is designed to show off the personality of the service and its service.

The review encompasses TV, radio, outdoor, press as well as digital and social advertising.

AMV won the business in December 2010 following a competitive pitch against Dentsu and The Red Brick Road.

Dentsu had held the business since November 2009 following the creation of the company, which is a public-sector franchise, and created its 'Miniature' campaign to promote East Coast’s low prices.

In October, East Coast Mainline poached the former First Direct head of brand and communications, Natalie Cowen, to head up its marketing. She replaced Rob Payne who left at the beginning of 2012.

East Coast Mainline is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Directly Operated Railways and comes under the remit of Patrick McLoughlin, the secretary of state for transport. The review comes under the Government Procurement Agreement.