The number of charities advertising on trains in and out of London has increased so much that the company that places them is to restrict charity ads to a maximum of 20% of adverts at any one time. Many of the adverts promote mobile giving by text.
KBH On-Train Media will introduce the restriction from 22 April. From that date until further notice the company will allow only 12,000 of its 60,000 advertising panels to be sold to charity clients.
Ian Reynolds, the company's Managing Director, explained that charity sector advertising had grown by more than 125% in the first quarter of 2013. He welcomed the business and saw it as "a ringing endorsement for our traincard format and what it can deliver in terms of both awareness and response", but said that the company had decided to distribute charity advertisers "more evenly across periods".
He added that "if there is less competition in our intimate environment then this will help [charities]" and ensure a good ROI.
KBH, he pointed, out "has always been a keen supporter of this sector in terms of very competitive rates and way above average level of Free overshow on campaigns to increase their exposure and response".
The decision was made in response to feedback from media agencies and charity clients themselves.
The adverts appear on 400cm x 400cm square posters or a similar landscape size.
The change will not affect any existing or currently booked campaigns.
Oisin Lunny from OpenMarket, which provides mobile fundraising and engagement solutions for UK charities and specialist agencies such as DEC, Open Fundraising and InstaGiv, commented: "the effectiveness of this kind of advertising is not limited to train boards, the message supersedes the media. I have no doubt effective and engaging SMS acquisition mechanics will be increasingly used across ambient media, print, TV, radio, social, online, in fact all other commuter touchpoints."
Photo: train adverts by Open Fundraising