Labour ministers order first ad review

Labour ministers have ordered their first campaign review since the general election, involving a pounds 1.5 million push to promote a network of business advice centres.

Labour ministers have ordered their first campaign review since the

general election, involving a pounds 1.5 million push to promote a

network of business advice centres.



Grey Integrated, the incumbent agency, will be challenged for the

Business Links account by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, Young & Rubicam and

CDP in a mid-August pitch.



Grey has promoted the Business Links network for the past two years and

would normally have retained the task for another two years before

having to repitch. However, Barbara Roche, the Department of Trade and

Industry’s minister responsible for small businesses, wants to breathe

new life into the initiative and has ordered an immediate review.



There have been complaints from MPs and some businessmen that the

previous Tory government did not do enough to promote the network of 200

one-stop business advice shops.



However, the Central Office of Information has been pleased with Grey’s

work. Awareness levels of the centres rose significantly after a

nationwide campaign in June last year, followed by bursts in September

and November.



’Grey has done a very good job,’ one official said.



Roger Edwards, the chairman of Grey, was unavailable for comment.



Despite the minister’s desire to relaunch the Business Links campaign,

the budget is unlikely to increase.



Y&R and CDP are also on a shortlist for a new account to promote the

Office of Electricity Regulation, a consumer watchdog that will oversee

the introduction of competition in the electricity industry from next

April.



Also pitching next month will be TBWA Simons Palmer and Lowe

Howard-Spink.



Although no budget for the integrated marketing campaign has been fixed,

it is expected to be worth at least pounds 1 million.



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