Anti-abortion group seeks agency for TV ad activity

LONDON - Advertising agencies are facing one of their biggest moral tests as they decide whether to pitch for a nationwide anti-abortion TV campaign.

A group of wealthy anti-abortion individuals are looking to open up the abortion debate by running what could become a highly contentious campaign. The group is talking to a number of agencies.

Agencies, which have faced a barrage of criticism over the role of advertising in childhood obesity, are being asked whether they would be willing to pitch before being formally invited. At this stage, several agencies have declined.

The campaign, which would look to target 18- to 34-year-old women, will be information driven. The plan is to focus initial activity on the UK but it may also be rolled out across Ireland.

A source from one agency that has rejected the brief said: "We were not comfortable with the issue. We have a generally liberal outlook and the idea of creating ads for it just doesn't sit comfortably."

Media agencies have not yet been approached and the campaign budget has not been disclosed.

In May, the government announced that it would fund a campaign to inform children under the age of 16 that their parents didn't have to be informed if they needed contraception or an abortion.

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