THIS WEEK: Great Western on twin tracks,

Great Western, the UK’s first privatised InterCity train operator, is launching a range of new customer-focused initiatives backed by a pounds 4m advertising spend.

Great Western, the UK’s first privatised InterCity train operator, is

launching a range of new customer-focused initiatives backed by a pounds

4m advertising spend.



A two-pronged strategy aims to target corporate travellers and the

leisure market with a new airline-style business class and a family-only

entertainment carriage.



Tests are also about to begin on Business Standard, an enhanced

standard-class service, with full roll-out expected in September. The

service is targeted at people who do not want to pay for first class but

require a better service than is provided in standard.



Great Western has also expanded its marketing budget to underpin this

new service-based image and is reviewing its pounds 4m advertising

account, currently held by Grey London.



A shortlist of four agencies has been drawn up, with a decision due

within six weeks. It is not known whether Grey is re-pitching for the

account.



Great Western will use a mixture of TV, radio and press, combined with

below-the-line work through MBO-RCF, to promote the new services. This

will also pre-empt the unveiling of the new dark-green Great Western

livery, scheduled for September.



The company is also considering a Virgin-style door-to-door chauffeur

service, in a further effort to woo the business traveller.



The airline theme is continued with an executive traveller business

centre at Paddington Station and a loyalty scheme offering a host of

non-train benefits.



The new Family Carriage will be launched in April, starting with

weekends but extending to a daily service in time for the summer

holidays.



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