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Rail Europe Hails Taxi

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NEW YORK Rail Europe, a supplier of European railroad travel-related products to North Americans, has hired Taxi to create a nontraditional campaign in advance of the peak summer travel season, the agency said.

The independent New York shop will create a largely interactive-based campaign that aims to capture the romance and excitement of rail travel and its inherent ability to show tourists a better view of a country and its people.

In addition, the agency will help Rail Europe design an online presence that can be marketed to both consumers and travel agents, as well as peer-to-peer and online community efforts that will allow travelers to share information and experiences about riding the rails.

"Rail travel is undeniably the best way to see Europe, but by and large Americans don't hold train travel in high regard," said Paul Lavoie, chairman and chief creative officer of Taxi, in a statement.

"People in this country know Amtrak and we know commuter rails, but this is very different," added Ira Matathia, vice president of development and integrated strategy director at Taxi. "We are significantly outspent by the airlines and car people," he said.

And while White Plains, N.Y.-based Rail Europe will not be launching a massive TV front, in an era where many people do their travel planning online, a Web-based effort will best touch the consumer, the agency said.