Agencies line up as DoH calls NHS pitch

The Department of Health is preparing to review its £4 million NHS Careers ad account, handled by Leo Burnett.

Burnett will be invited to repitch for the account when the review, through COI, takes place early in 2006.

The NHS faces a constant battle to recruit staff as numbers fall as a result of retirement and as they get tempted by better-paid agency work or jobs abroad.

Burnett created the 2004 recruitment drive in which a commuter with epilepsy falls down a flight of stairs. His journey through the NHS is described in a voiceover using real NHS staff. The campaign, which ran between March and May 2004, prompted 94,000 calls about jobs to the NHS in its first ten weeks.

A DoH spokeswoman confirmed it was looking for new advertising next year, but said other agencies had not yet been contacted.

Burnett inherited the client when it merged with D'Arcy in 2002. D'Arcy won the brief in 1999 after a review out of Saatchi & Saatchi.

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