Manning Gottlieb Media has landed the pounds 10 million media planning
and buying account for Eurostar, the Channel tunnel rail service.
The win follows last week’s award of the contract to run the service to
the London and Continental Railways consortium, which includes one of
MGM’s clients, Virgin.
Although Virgin only has a 17 per cent stake in the consortium - which
includes the National Express Group and the investment bank, S. G.
Warburg - it is using its marketing experience to take the lead in an
advertising overhaul that will also involve a creative review.
Bartle Bogle Hegarty, St Luke’s, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe, Bates
Dorland and GGT have been approached by Virgin about the creative work,
but BBH and Rainey Kelly declined to pitch. Young and Rubicam, which has
held the full-service business since Eurostar’s launch in late 1994, is
also thought to be in the running.
MGM is expected to take charge of media, currently with Y&R, from 1
April, when London and Continental will acquire Eurostar’s operating
company, European Passenger Services.
Colin Gottlieb, a partner at MGM, declined to comment on the win, but
confirmed the hiring of Jon Gittings, a media planner/buyer at
Optimedia, to work on ‘a very large, exciting new project.’
Mark Furlong, the new marketing manager of Eurostar who was previously
at Virgin Atlantic, said: ‘London and Continental wanted to make use of
Virgin’s expertise in branding and the travel market. We are now in
discussions with Y&R about its plans, and we are talking to other
agencies about how we might go forward.’