Powerhouse on board with ATOC

Powerhouse is believed to have picked up a pounds 100,000 account from the Association of Train Operating Companies to promote its railcards.

Powerhouse is believed to have picked up a pounds 100,000 account

from the Association of Train Operating Companies to promote its

railcards.



ATOC originally asked eight agencies to pitch for the business and is

understood to have drawn up a short list of three consultancies:

Countrywide Porter Novelli, Millbank and Powerhouse.



This will be the latest in a series of agency appointments for the

Association.



In May ATOC hired Westminster Strategy as its first retained public

affairs consultancy.



ATOC markets the railcards on behalf of the 25 train operating companies

that it represents across the country. Some of the railcards are

’mandatory’ - such as those for young, elderly and disabled passengers -

while others, such as network and family railcards, are ’voluntary’.



The agency will promote railcards on a national basis, but the

difficulty facing ATOC is that each deregulated train operating company

has its own promotions and they have often run their own independent

discounts or incentives.



The task of the appointed agency, which will work alongside ATOC’s

marketing agency, Aspen Business Communications, is to try to reverse

the decline in the use of railcards.



In particular it wants to boost the off-peak use of railcards, which

means targeting a non-commuter audience.



As well as running a generic awareness campaign over the next year, ATOC

plans to run a specific campaign in October aimed at senior citizens,

which will incorporate a two-for-one offer.



ATOC has already used PR consultancies on a project basis to promote

railcards.



Countrywide carried out media relations work over the Christmas period

for the family and young persons railcard to promote the benefits of

railcards and of train travel in general



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