IPA Effectiveness Awards 2005: Gold Award - Inland Revenue - Self Assessment

INLAND REVENUE - SELF ASSESSMENT Campaign: Self Assessment - how a change in advertising direction proved that tax doesn't have to be taxing Client: Inland Revenue Agency: Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy Principal author: Andy Nairn Media used: TV, print, outdoor, interactive, radio, press


This paper tells how the Inland Revenue gained impressive results when it took a dramatic change of advertising direction. Record numbers of taxpayers are now filing their tax returns on time and the level of online filing has increased 20-fold since the launch of the campaign.

Perhaps most remarkably, there has been a dramatic shift in perception - people now think the Inland Revenue is changing for the better and that tax self assessment is getting easier. Altogether, the campaign has generated savings of £185 million on a total spend of £22.5 million - a return on investment of £8.22 for every £1 spent. Given a fresh insight and a powerful change in advertising direction, even the most difficult marketing task does not have to be taxing.


"The Inland Revenue case was well argued and presented - and eminently readable. There was a diverse mass audience, a complex issue, low interest, poor brand perception and high value at stake. So it was clear that delivering an engaging campaign, based on a genuine insight into audience motivations, was a prerequisite to achieving any meaningful improvements in effectiveness compared with previous attempts.

"It could be argued that the paper did not establish causality over very good online results (after all, isn't this just a general consumer trend?) but the logic is sound with regard to economic impact, the brand results are impressive, and the core objective of improving timely returns was met."

- Nick Smith, former marketing and strategy director, British Gas; chairman, The Marketing Society.


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