NEWS: Burnetts tests CSA ads as rival shops await call to pitch

The Government is considering launching a campaign to promote the Child Support Agency and could soon ask agencies to pitch.

The Government is considering launching a campaign to promote the Child

Support Agency and could soon ask agencies to pitch.



A pounds 180,000 test campaign through the CSA incumbent, Leo Burnett,

is currently running in Manchester. A national advertising push may

follow if it proves successful in dispelling the so-called ‘myths’ about

the organisation.



Ministers will discuss a national campaign after studying the Central

Office of Information’s research findings from the pilot.



No budget has been fixed, but the adspend is likely to be about pounds

1-2 million. The Government has not decided whether it will award the

work to Burnetts or call a pitch.



Burnetts’ ads challenge six popular myths about the CSA, including the

belief that it stops fathers from having enough money for a new life,

that their new partner has to pay towards the cost of maintaining

children from a previous relationship and that fathers may be better off

on state benefits than in work.



Andrew Mitchell, the junior minister responsible for the CSA, favours a

big campaign, but his boss, the Social Security Secretary, Peter Lilley,

fears that a national ad blitz may re-ignite controversy about the

agency.



The Manchester campaign, which broke last Thursday, has been criticised

by the Network Against the Child Support Act. Its spokesman, Paul Doxey,

commented: ‘These are not myths, they are facts. The campaign is grossly

misleading.’



The ads are running in local newspapers, on local radio and on poster

sites.



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