TfL calls safe travel pitch

WCRS and M&C Saatchi battle it out for £2m Transport for London campaign.

Transport for London is holding a pitch to promote safer travel at night and has asked its roster agencies WCRS and M&C Saatchi to take part.

The brief, worth an estimated £2 million, was most recently handled by TBWA\London. However, the agency was knocked off TfL's roster earlier this year when the organisation held a statutory review.

The main focus of the brief is preventing women from getting into unlicensed mini- cabs. The work traditionally airs over the Christmas period, when Londoners are more likely to be needing to take taxis home late at night.

The ads will be a mixture of TV, cinema and press and will run in the London region.

Nigel Marson, the TfL head of group marketing, said: "The account has been dormant at TBWA and we needed to assign it. We're just tying up loose ends after the review this year."

TBWA created a TV campaign for safer travel at night in 2004, which has run for the past two years. The ad features a group of girls forcing one of their friends into an unlicensed mini cab. It shows them watching as she is raped. The ad suggests that allowing someone to get into an illegal taxi is helping rapists.

M&C Saatchi and WCRS won places on the £6.7 million TfL roster after a pitch against Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and Mother in April.

M&C Saatchi retained its position as the lead agency on the business. WCRS is working on a project basis to promote the February 2007 launch of the Western extension to the Congestion Charging Zone.

The agencies' contracts will run to 2009.

Last year TBWA also developed a series of print ads for safer travel at night. One ran with the strapline: "If you want to know the true cost of an illegal minicab, ask a rape victim. Know what you're getting into."

In 2005 in London, 214 women were sexually assaulted after getting into illegal minicabs, according to figures released by the Metropolitan Police.

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