Inland Revenue hires M&C Saatchi

The Inland Revenue has picked M&C Saatchi to handle its

multimillion-pound image overhaul - and put an immediate question-mark

over future relationships with its other roster agencies.

Confirming M&C Saatchi's lead status, Ian Schoolar, the Inland Revenue's

marketing chief, said he expected a "significant portion" of its pounds

20 million annual spend to go through the agency.

And he warned: "This could impact on our existing agency relationships.

It's possible some may lose business."

M&C Saatchi, which contested the assignment with TBWA/London, WCRS and

Grey, has been briefed to produce a communications strategy for the

Inland Revenue as it strives to acquire a user-friendly image. Corporate

Edge, the design consultancy, has also been hired to work on a new brand


The appointments coincide with the Inland Revenue's integration with the

social security system and the extension of its role to include not just

tax collection but the distribution of benefits.

Until now, the Inland Revenue has split its business between three

agencies. They include Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, whose work featuring

Hector, the cartoon taxman, is aimed at encouraging people to complete

self-assessment tax returns on time.

Also on the roster are St Luke's, which is responsible for promoting

working families' tax credits, and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R,

which runs the information campaign on charitable giving.

M&C Saatchi's recommendations are expected to help determine what the

Inland Revenue's future priorities should be.

No new advertising will appear before next year.