Wednesday, 28 April 2010

controversial new ad features blind footballers

Paddy Power are to release a new TV advert featuring blind footballers who mistake a cat for the ball in a five-a-side match.

And it's pretty funny, like most of their recent ads.

The ad – which is the latest in a series being rolled out ahead of the World Cup and the climax of the Premier League season – has had the green light from Clearcast, the body that vets TV spots before broadcast. It breaks tomorrow night.

Paddy Power said that it had to get clearance to air the commercial from Clearcast as the two teams feature real blind footballers, not actors.

Several of the players who feature are likely to represent England in this summer's World Blind Football Championships. The player who features most prominently in the commercial, Ajmal Ahmed, is the England captain.

"As with our betting we like to have fun with our ads even though there were a lot of procedures and hurdles that we had to clear for the ad to be approved," said Adam Perrin, the head of brand for Paddy Power.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

just the ticket?

Did you know that over £6 billion worth of train tickets are sold in the UK each year? And that 85% of this total are sold either at ticket booths or direct from rail companies own website? 

So this leaves long-established with a decent chunk of the remaining market (they had profits of £15 million on a turnover of £780 million last year), so it's quite surprising that it has taken another independent company so long to compete for their online revenue.

That company is and they have invested £2m developing a system they believe will help them compete - a figure they hope to recoup in the first 12 months alone. Robin Wells, chairman of the site's parent company Assertis, said: '...there is an enormous market out there. It is worth £6 billion and waiting to be tapped.'

Good to see a new kid on the block when it comes to buying train tickets online. Someone new often brings something new and means that everyone else has to up their game. However, the early signs aren't so promising - a Google search for 'train tickets' leaves them nowhere to be seen on the first page, so let's hope they're investing a decent amount in their SEO too!

Friday, 16 April 2010

naughty nurses do it on the bus

Diamond Buses, who are without doubt one of the most progressive bus companies around, have caused a stink with the marketing of a route serving Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

The campaign in question uses a provocative looking woman dressed as a nurse (I doubt she's fully qualified though) alongside the words 'ooh Matron'. Unsurprisingly the creative execution has annoyed many who feel the image demeans and devalues nurses while portraying them in a stereotypically sexual way

Thursday, 15 April 2010

the dutch do it on the back of buses

Just seen this superb bus back by Dutch Railways. Very clever.

Click on image to see a larger version.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

TV on train, and on demand

First Great Western today launched an on-demand TV service in coach D of their HST services out of London Paddington.

The screens, embedded in the headrests of the seat in front, will show a selection of the latest comedies, dramas, documentaries, children's programmes and sports. They also allow you to pause, stop, fast-forward, rewind and re-choose a programme at your leisure - a bit like a moving Sky+ i suppose.

The service comes at a charge of £3.95 with an extra couple of quid if you need headphones. Access to the channels is through mobile phone registration or online at

As far as I'm aware FGW are the first TOC to launch such a service, so it will be interesting to see how many people are willing stump up the extra cash - especially in the current economic climate and backlash against high train fares.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

free bus travel in Jersey!

To coincide with the island's hosting of the Tour de Bretagne cycle race, Jersey's transport minister Mike Jackson has made the decision to offer all islanders free bus transport on Sunday 25 April.

Constable Jackson said: "I hope people who haven't taken a bus for a while will be tempted to use this free service and that it will encourage them to use the bus more often in the future." The services are all run by provider Connex.

A big congratulations to Mike and his team for trying to change people's behaviour not their attitude.

how not to use the apostrophe

The copywriter's seafood nightmare ...

Lovingly borrowed from the boys at Sell Sell.

livery, is it money well spent?

Omnibuses have a good article today asking...

"In stringent times, can or should operators spend scarce resources in changing their liveries? Is this money well spent? And do passengers care about the colour of their bus, anyways?"

They suggest that passengers "care more about punctuality, reliability, fares and frequency than they do about livery". Which I agree, that is ALL they really care about. BUT...

Monday, 12 April 2010

Eurostar launch reward programme

The new programme is called Eurostar Plus and is a very simple proposition.

Every time you spend £300 on Eurostar travel, you'll be rewarded with a £20 e-voucher that you can spend on any trip booked on Each voucher is valid for a year and you can accumulate them.

To system works by logging in before booking a ticket on, then every £1 that a customer spends is automatically saved as one point. Once they have 300 points they get the £20 voucher.

Nice and simple and works out at around 7% back. The only criticism is that it would have been better to have had the option for more exciting rewards, e.g. Amazon vouchers (at a reduced rate say £10 for 300 points).

I personally think these schemes are a good idea, I don't see why more transport operators don't do it. Especially bus companies?