Agencies line up for DoH anti-smoking business

Five agency teams will pitch in five weeks for the £25 million integrated account.

A host of agencies have five weeks to prepare their pitches for the Department of Health's integrated anti-smoking account, which is backed with an annual spend of £25 million.

The advertising account has been with Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO for 20 years. The direct marketing and media accounts - held by Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw and PHD - are also being reviewed as the DoH moves to an integrated approach.

COI, which is managing the pitch, has selected five agency teams to compete for the combined task.

AMV is teaming with its fellow Omnicom agencies Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel and PHD.

They will compete against Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Manning Gottlieb OMD and WWAV Rapp Collins; Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, Mediaedge:cia and Kitcatt Nohr; DDB London, ZenithOptimedia and Chemistry; and Farm, Naked and Personal.

AMV's most recent advertising campaign, which targeted young people, focused on how smoking affects their chances of success with potential partners. In one spot, a young man snubs an attractive young woman in a bar when he realises she smells of smoke. The ad carries the line: "If you smoke, you stink."

Another spot targets young men and focuses on the sensitive issue of sexual performance. The ad features a pair of walking fingers with a burning cigarette positioned between them as a visual metaphor for a penis. The strapline was: "Does smoking make you hard? Not if it means you can't get it up."

The supporting DM campaign, through Kitcatt Nohr, highlighted how smoking can damage your looks. A print and DM campaign featured images of glamorous people with smoking-related defects such as wrinkles around their mouths and stained teeth.

Sian Jarvis, the director of communications for the Department of Health, said: "The campaign has been successful in encouraging cessation and driving down prevalence, but owing to increasingly complex and diverse objectives, a more integrated agency approach is required.

"While continuing to encourage people to give up smoking, we are looking to build on our work on second-hand smoke, and impress on prospective quitters the choice of support available, particularly local NHS Stop Smoking Services."


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