CrossCountry appoints McCann and PHD North

The CrossCountry rail network has appointed McCann Erickson Manchester as its lead creative agency and PHD North to handle its media planning and buying account.

McCann won the advertising account after a pitch against three undisclosed agencies and the incumbent, Cogent Elliott, which has worked with the Arriva-owned rail network since its launch in 2007.

McCann will develop integrated campaigns to support the company's revenue and growth targets and increase brand recognition.

PHD North retained the media account following a seperate pitch.

Louise Blyth, head of marketing at CrossCountry, said the appointments would help to turn CrossCountry "from a good train operator to a great one".

The CrossCountry network covers 100 stations from Aberdeen to Penzance and Stansted to Cardiff and the ad campaigns will run nationwide.

The line was previously operated by Virgin Trains until CrossCountry won the rail franchise in 2007.

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