DfEE calls pitch for university task

The Department for Education and Employment has called a pitch for

the task of persuading a greater number of young people from less

privileged backgrounds into further education.



The agencies on the COI Communications roster, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO,

Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters, D'Arcy and Leith London, are all pitching

for the business, being conducted under the working title of the

'excellence challenge'.



Agencies were briefed last Friday, despite the fact that a general

election date of 7 June was formally announced on Tuesday this week.



It is believed that COI will be supporting the push with a pounds 2

million spend each year for the next three years, highlighting the

long-term government commitment to the ongoing campaign.



The brief given to the advertising agencies will focus on encouraging

children and young adults in 'low socio-economic groups' between the

ages of 13 and 19 to go on to further education.



Sources say the Government is worried about the cost to students of

university and college fees, which can mean that young people from less

privileged backgrounds are more likely to turn their backs on tertiary

education.



It is expected that the DfEE brief will aim to address this perception

among potential students.



In July 1999 D'Arcy created a pounds 1 million campaign for the DfEE

designed to persuade more school-leavers to join training schemes.



The press and radio campaign, which tapped into 60s and 70s nostalgia,

hoped to increase the number of 16- to 19-year-olds who took up places

on National Traineeships from 20,000 to 100,000.



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