By OUR PARLIAMENTARY CORRESPONDENT, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 22 March 1996 12:00AM
BMP DDB Needham has landed the Government’s first advertising campaign
aimed at cracking down on social security fraud.
An initial pounds 500,000 will be spent over the next year on local
campaigns in towns and cities, where officials will launch month-long
drives to stamp out bogus claims. If the ads prove effective, Whitehall
officials say the budget could be expanded.
From next month, ads will appear on bus sides, at bus stops, poster
sites and on local radio. Buses will play a key role in the campaign,
having proved successful in a previous BMP drive to promote family
credit benefit for low-income families.
The line of the new campaign is ‘Spotlight on benefit cheats - the free
ride on benefit fraud is about to stop. We are picking out the cheats in
[name of town].’
Leo Burnett and D’Arcy Masius Benton and Bowles were also considered by
the Department of Social Security, but BMP finally won the business
without a pitch because it is retained by the DSS.
The ads will promote a telephone line that people can ring in confidence
to report anyone suspected of making false benefit claims.
They will also explain that the Government is offering a two-week
‘amnesty’ when people who may have drifted unwittingly into benefit
fraud can escape prosecution.
Instead of ‘preaching’ that bogus claims are wrong, the ads will merely
promote the local crackdowns.
The blitz will be launched in 14 areas across Britain, before being
extended to other towns and cities.
Benefit fraud is estimated to cost British taxpayers about pounds 2.5
billion a year..
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk