The Electoral Commission assumed responsibility for voter awareness from the Home Office last year. The tender has been put out as the commission gears up for next spring's voting activity and has been triggered by its extended remit, which will now include elections of the Welsh National Assembly, the Scottish Executive and the Northern Ireland assembly.
Anne Hinds, the director of media and public affairs at the Electoral Commission, confirmed: "We're looking at a Great Britain-wide advertising tender with a new strategic brief. It's to make sure that the invited advertising companies will be taking account of the national issues."
The business is currently handled by St Luke's, which in January beat Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy and Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper to a brief to highlight the importance of registering to vote. The agency has just created a cinema campaign geared towards getting young people interested in voting.
Hinds confirmed that St Luke's has been asked to pitch alongside a number of undisclosed agencies, adding: "We will continue working with the agency on youth-based projects." One project is a forthcoming national youth competition, although details are still under wraps.
Hinds said the commission's primary focus will not be purely the nation's youth, but a broader bid to get people out to vote.
The Electoral Commission is also holding tenders for its PR activities across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Close-up, p14.