Agencies are being secretly sounded out about a highly controversial
campaign to promote the fluoridation of London’s water supplies.
Four shops have presented initial proposals for the pounds 1 million
assignment before a full-scale pitch takes place within the next two
However, fluoridation is a contentious issue and no advertising is set
to get the green light until after the general election.
None of the agencies involved in the contest are on the Central Office
of Information roster. Instead, the pitch-list is understood to have
been drawn up with the help of the Advertising Agency Register.
The contest is being conducted by a senior official from an inner London
health authority who has been seconded to investigate the project under
the sponsorship of the Department of Health.
The Government is keen to press ahead with the fluoridation of water
supplies as it is the cheapest way of reducing tooth decay, particularly
in deprived inner-city areas.
But progress has stalled in the face of environmentalists who want
drinking water to be free of chemical additives and other pressure
groups who regard fluoridation as enforced medication and a totalitarian
Other detractors believe that fluoride, far from improving health, can
cause bone and liver cancer and damage the immune system.