Govt hands pensions task to BMP

BMP DDB has clawed its way back into favour with the Government it helped get elected by landing a pounds 2.5 million brief to improve the lot of Britain’s poor pensioners.

BMP DDB has clawed its way back into favour with the Government it

helped get elected by landing a pounds 2.5 million brief to improve the

lot of Britain’s poor pensioners.



BMP has seen its government business disappear since it helped Labour

win the 1997 general election. The Department of Social Security ended

BMP’s status as its lead agency and decided to put each campaign to

pitch.



But after a battle between BMP and Ogilvy & Mather, DSS officials are

recommending that the pensioners’ campaign be awarded to BMP. Alistair

Darling, the Social Security Secretary, is expected to rubber-stamp the

proposal shortly.



The push is designed to persuade pensioners to claim the benefits to

which they are entitled. Most of the budget is likely to be spent on a

television campaign, as daytime TV is seen as the best way of reaching

old people. There may be some back-up work in the press.



The campaign follows concern among ministers that many elderly poor do

not claim the social security benefits to which they are entitled on top

of the state pension.



Between 400,000 and 600,000 old people are estimated to be missing

out.



Some are deterred by the stigma of having to be means-tested and go to a

benefits office, while others are believed to lack information about

state help.



The campaign may be piloted in some areas this autumn before being

rolled out nationwide. It will highlight the minimum income guarantee to

pensioners - worth pounds 175 a week to a couple from April next

year.



Under the plan, income support top-ups will be added to the basic state

pension for old people who have no other income to take them above the

guaranteed minimum.



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