JCDecaux wins major First Rail contract

JCDecaux wins major First Rail contract

17th October 2023

JCDecaux UK has been awarded the First Rail advertising contract for a three-year period following a competitive tender. The award brings together the Out-of-Home contracts to manage and develop the advertising estate across three major train operating companies: Avanti, GWR and SWR starting from January 2024.

The First Rail win will strengthen JCDecaux UK’s market-leading position and provide new synergies for brand advertisers to reach audiences as they connect to tube, bus and other rail transport for onward travel in London and across the UK. The contract also generates a valuable revenue stream that can be reinvested in the transport network.

Covering Out-of-Home advertising in up to 390 stations (245 stations currently have advertising), this includes the key commuter hubs of Putney, Richmond, Twickenham, Vauxhall and Wimbledon stations in London, and Ascot, Bath Spa, Birmingham International, Bournemouth, Bristol Parkway, Cheltenham Spa, Coventry, Exeter, Oxford, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Preston, Stockport and Southampton stations. The contract comprises 2,124 poster sites (including 121 digital 6-sheet screens and 323 non-digital 48-sheet billboards on platforms) with the option to develop and digitise the estate still further.

Mike Nelson, First Rail Finance & Strategy Director said, “JCDecaux are very well placed to be our advertising partner going forward. They offer operational expertise, a proven track record in rail and excellent commercial and digital capabilities in the Out-of-Home advertising market. The new contract with our train operating companies will enhance the passenger experience by providing relevant and timely messaging for our customers across our advertising estate.”

Chris Collins, Co-CEO of JCDecaux UK said, “We are delighted to have been awarded this First Rail contract and to bring more international, national and local brands to their premium estate. This First Rail win will offer exciting opportunities for advertisers to target the complete customer rail journey into zone 1 in London and to continue the brand conversation as passengers connect to onward tube and bus travel. This win strengthens JCDecaux UK’s market-leading position as we bring our commercial expertise and the latest data-driven capabilities including programmatic Out-of-Home to First Rail’s estate, providing new synergies for reaching audiences in the Capital and across the UK.”

With the addition of First Rail, 99% of rail passengers travelling into London’s major stations will be reached by JCDecaux UK’s Outdoor advertising screens, offering synergies for brands in London’s Zone 1 and new opportunities for omnichannel advertising campaigns. 

Rail delivers a premium audience for brand advertisers with First Rail’s stations also providing a powerful gateway to major national sporting and social events including Royal Ascot, Cheltenham, Glastonbury, Guinness Six Nations, Wimbledon and events at the NEC in Birmingham.

The First Rail contract consolidates JCDecaux UK’s market-leading presence in the rail sector. With this contract, JCDecaux UK will deliver 71% of rail frames (previously 52%) and 83% of rail impressions (previously 75%) and will deliver 88% of digital rail frames (previously 76%) and 92% of digital rail impressions (previously 87%), bringing new synergies for rail and omnichannel brand advertisers.