Amtrak Is Set to Select Arnold

ATLANTA Amtrak is poised to add Havas’ Arnold for creative and media on its estimated $30 million account, sources said.

Arnold in McLean, Va, pitching with sister media shop MPG, overcame incumbent White & Baldacci, an independent shop in Herndon, Va., in the final round of a review, sources said.

White & Baldacci is expected to keep some Amtrak promotional assignments, sources said.

The two shops emerged as finalists earlier this week after the client eliminated Interpublic Group’s The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., and independent WKP/YPBR in New York, sources said.

A decision was expected to be made this week, but client representative Karina van Veen on Thursday said an announment is now expected early next week.

She declined to elaborate on any aspect of the review’s progress.

Both creative and media duties handled by the incumbent were in play. Arnold sibling Brann Worldwide will also handle some relationship marketing work that has been with the incumbent, sources said. White & Baldacci has worked with Amtrak for 30 years.

Agency officials either declined comment or could not be reached.

The Reston, Va., client is managing the review in-house. Creative presentations by Arnold, Martin, WKP/YPBR and Baldacci & White took place at the client’s headquarters two week ago and were centered around an assignment that asked agencies to differentiate between the railroad’s various trains and services while unifying the brand, sources said.

Amrtak initially queried agencies located within a day’s car trip from its home base, sending requests for proposals to 16 Northeast and mid-Atlantic agencies, van Veen told Adweek in mid-April when the review began.

The client is looking to craft different campaigns for different regional areas, as well as multicultural efforts, sources said.

Amtrak operates more than 22,000 route miles nationwide, running up to 265 trains per day, excluding commuter operations.