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
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
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
Among the acclaimed campaigns created by DMB&B was ’Dave’, which focused
on a man left brain damaged after a drink-drive car crash.