Busing on the Yellow Pages Road

Coach USA Awaits Responses to Call for Directory Assistance
DALLAS–Coach USA is looking for an agency to take on its $1.5 million Yellow Pages advertising account.
The $800 million bus charter and tour company, the largest in this country, also operates in Canada and Mexico. Based in Houston, Coach USA’s fleet includes 3,500 buses and another 3,500 taxis, minivans and shuttle vehicles.
Lee Scissler, Coach USA’s national director of marketing and advertising, said the relatively new company, founded in 1995, is just beginning to focus on its ad efforts.
“The company has just been growing fast and furious and new,” Scissler said.
“We didn’t even have a corporate marketing department until last December,” Scissler told Adweek. “We’re just now gearing up.”
A subsidiary of U.K.-based Stagecoach Holdings, Coach USA has expanded its four-year-old business entirely through acquisitions.
“We were busy running the operational side of the business,” said Scissler, explaining why the company was so late to develop its marketing strategy.
Coach USA’s current Yellow Pages advertising is handled by TMP Worldwide in Philadelphia and C&T Yellow Pages in Plano, Texas. Both incumbents will be invited to pitch.
Requests for proposals were sent out last week, with a response deadline of Nov. 1.
Finalists will make presentations on Nov. 19 in Dallas, and an agency will be selected the following week.
Scissler said one shop may get the entire advertising business, or the account may be divided, as it currently is, among agencies with regional expertise.
Coach USA also offers motor coach sightseeing services in the U.S. In addition, the company is one of the nation’s largest nonmunicipal providers of commuter and transit bus services to local governments. Other customers include casinos, colleges and car rental agencies. Another component of Coach USA’s involves airport ground transportation and taxi cab services.
According to a company mission statement, Coach USA’s strategy is “to create a national company that meets passengers’ diverse ground transportation needs, particularly focusing on services for domestic and international tourists and conventioneers. To this end, Coach USA builds by acquiring motor coach tour and charter companies in gateway cities.”