Abbott Mead nets drink-drive brief

The Government is responding to the rise in the number of Christmas road accidents involving drunk drivers by drafting in Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO to reinforce the anti-drink-drive message.

The Government is responding to the rise in the number of Christmas

road accidents involving drunk drivers by drafting in Abbott Mead

Vickers BBDO to reinforce the anti-drink-drive message.



The switch ends DMB&B’s eight-year tenure of the high-profile account

and consolidates the Department of Transport’s entire account within

AMV.



DoT officials opted for a head-to-head pitch between the two agencies

after a worrying rise in the number of breath-test failures during last

year’s Christmas period.



The festive season failure rate reached 9 per cent, compared with 5 per

cent in 1996. In two police-force areas, one out of five drivers tested

after car crashes was found to have drunk too much.



A DoT spokesman said: ’Because of the rise we asked both agencies to

look at a fresh approach. We felt AMV’s original ideas were the best for

confronting drivers with the consequences of their actions.’



AMV’s TV and print campaign in the run-up to Christmas will direct much

of its fire power at drivers under the age of 25, who are

’disproportionately represented’ in the drink-drive statistics.



AMV was confirmed on the business after a final pitch to the newly

appointed transport minister, Lord Whitty. It complements the agency’s

existing ’kill your speed’ advertising for the DoT, as well as campaigns

to encourage the wearing of rear seat-belts and to dissuade drivers from

using hand-held mobile phones.



Cilla Snowball, the AMV client services director, said: ’DMB&B has done

some very successful and effective campaigns but we are recommending

something quite different. It will be a new and spectacular approach and

a contrast to the previous focus on what happens during an

accident.’



Nigel Marsh, DMB&B’s marketing director, said: ’We’re obviously

disappointed but we wish AMV well as it picks up the baton on a very

important assignment.’



Among the acclaimed campaigns created by DMB&B was ’Dave’, which focused

on a man left brain damaged after a drink-drive car crash.



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