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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tube Stations to be Sponsored

Next stop Pledgeware Road, Oxoford Circus and all stations to Elephant and Castlemaine XXXX. That's something we may well be hearing in the very near future. TfL announced today that they are lifting their ban on Tube station sponsorship.


Campaign magazine report that Transport for London are looking for an agency to come up with ideas to help them "optimise advertising revenue".

TfL's group marketing director, Nigel Marson, told Campaign that: "One could imagine that a business like Selfridges or Harrods would put a value of hundreds of thousands of pounds on the sponsorship of their nearest station.

"It would not take many of those deals to reach a figure in the millions.
"

Marson said other options included sponsorship for road safety initiatives, and the sale of real-time travel information to sat-nav companies. He continued "The trick is valuing the opportunities properly. We are spending taxpayers' money in order to reap more money to plough back into investment, so we must get best value."

Well I think that any agency pitching should look to the Far East as they are already doing some pretty innovative sponsorship of their subway systems.

IKEA (who have sponsored London Underground maps) took things much further in Japan and actually kitted out whole carriages with their furniture

Ikea sponsored subway carriages

Wonderbra have sponsored the yellow safety line on the Singapore subway.

Wonderbra sponsored safety line

The line's a few inches further back, implying that if you wear a Wonderbra your enhanced boobs will mean you need to give the train an even wider berth.

You can go too far with safety advertising though. Abdullaah sent me an errr... interesting... ad for a firm of undertakers with a tongue in cheek (I hope) request to stand a little closer to the read the ad.

Ad location Fail from Failblog

That's not coffin chasing, that's coffin predicting and it's pretty obvious that TfL wouldn't sanction that.

However, I wonder if this new announcement means they'll be a little less pious and prudish about the advertising they deem acceptable? Nip/Tuck had to cover up their models a bit and make them less sexy before they were allowed to advertise their new series. There was also a bit of a kerfuffle about a work of art which showed some nudity.

But as I implied with the case of Nip/Tuck perhaps if the price is right, these optimised advertising revenue spots may be OK. As usual comments welcome and if you can think of some stations that are ripe for Tube sponsorship and what they might be called, I'd love to hear them.


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