The Government is putting its entire pounds 5 million road safety
advertising up for grabs, just a week after consolidating the business
within Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.
The decision means AMV will not only have to re-contest the pounds 1.9
million anti-drink-drive campaign it has just taken from DMB&B
(Campaign, last week) but it must join a battle to retain its existing
Department of Transport work, including the highly acclaimed ’kill your
The move - scheduled to take place next year - will give DMB&B a chance
to grab back the business it lost while adding to it other current AMV
assignments promoting the use of rear seatbelts and the dangers of
driving while using handheld mobile phones.
Department chiefs are unlikely to restrict the contest to a head-to-head
pitch between its two roster agencies but will give other shops a chance
to crack the briefs.
The outcome will not necessarily result in a ’winner takes all’
It is more likely that the various assignments will go to whichever
agencies come up with the best recommendations.
The new pitch will be triggered by the publication of a new strategy to
improve safety on the roads by the Department at the turn of the
’Presentation will play a big part in the new strategy, so we will have
to have a rethink on the publicity side,’ a Whitehall source said this
The Department denies that the new pitch and the drink-drive review were
prompted by a desire to put all its eggs in one basket.
’This is not about consolidating into one agency,’ it said. ’It is about
bringing a fresh eye to look at the campaigns to see if we can do things
While few of the Department’s campaigns are underpinned by large
budgets, much of the work - particularly the Christmas anti-drink-drive
advertising - gets heavy TV and national press coverage and is a useful
boost to any agency’s creative profile.
The overhaul of the transport accounts follows the appointment of Lord
Whitty, Labour’s former general secretary, as transport minister in
July. He succeeded Baroness Hayman who became a junior health
Live Issue, p13.