- Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO is spearheading a campaign warning Britain's drivers of the dangers of using hand-held mobile phones while at the wheel.
Pictures of cars wrecked in road crashes are being used to emphasise the message in a national press campaign under the theme: "Hand-held mobile phones and driving. It's a bad call".
AMV'S appointment to handle the £250,000 task, made without a pitch, is part of a joint initiative by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions and the mobile communications industry. Media buying is through MediaVest.
The agency already has considerable expertise in the mobile phone sector -- Cellnet is a major client -- as well as in road safety advertising. The Department recently appointed AMV to promote the wearing of seat belts, complementing its existing "Kill your speed" assignment.
Written by Malcolm Duffy and art directed by Paul Briginshaw, one ad shows a twisted cycle frame trapped under the wheels of a badly damaged car. It carries the caption: "Hand-held mobile phones. A good way to make contact with someone".
Another features a wrecked car with the warning: "He picked up the phone to say he wouldn't be late".
Cilla Snowball, the AMV client services director, said: "This is the first stage in a campaign to educate people about the risks. Using a hand-held mobile phone while driving is asking for an accident to happen."
The Government plans to rely on advertising rather than changes in the law to encourage drivers to use pagers instead of hand-held mobile phones, which are known to have caused five road deaths since 1995. Police already have the power to prosecute offending motorists for careless driving.