When the Elizabeth line welcomes its first customers next year, they will see a vast new stations, new trains, and an awful lot of advertising.
TfL has issued a tender for six companies — just six — to bid a minimum of £6.5 million each for a massive launch advertising campaign.
In exchange for their money, each advertiser will be able to take over an entire chunk of the Elizabeth line, so you might be able to embark at Starbucks Paddington, pass through Barclays Bond Street, on to Vodafone Farringdon, then through Tesco Liverpool Street and on to British Airways Canary Wharf.
The six companies will also be designated as “launch partners”, and will also have their logo sitting next to the tube roundel during the campaign.
The advertising is just for one year, after which the question remains as to whether this is an exercise that’ll be repeated annually, or if more conventional advertising clutter will replace it.
Commercially, it cannot be denied that TfL have cleverly chosen a rare chance to milk the advertising market for a big splash advertising opportunity.
To put the £39 million into context though, the entire London Underground generates around £142 million per year in advertising income, so this is a decent sized, possibly one-off, slug of cash for the cash-strapped tube network.
Further details on the Elizabeth line’s advertising infrastructure will be published when the tender process opens to brands in February 2018. The six official launch partners are set to be announced in autumn 2018.
Advertisers should go here for details.