The Government is expected to put a ’welfare to work’ advertising
campaign out to pitch to promote measures to end youth unemployment
announced in the Budget.
The push, which could cost up to pounds 2 million and include TV spots,
will aim to explain the new opportunities available to the 250,000
jobless under-25s as part of the ’new deal’, promised by the Chancellor,
Gordon Brown, on Wednesday.
The campaign will also target employers, who will be offered a pounds
75-a-week rebate for taking on a young unemployed person.
Government sources said planning was still at an early stage. A
Whitehall committee is believed to be involved in talks with the Central
Office of Information.
A pitch-list has yet to be drawn up. Agencies that may be in the running
include DMB&B and GGT, who have both worked on similar campaigns for the
Department for Education and Employment, and BMP DDB, which promoted
state benefits for the Social Security department.
If ministers want an urgent campaign and there is no time for a pitch,
the job could fall to Ogilvy and Mather which has edged ahead of Leo
Burnett as the COI’s main standby agency.
Under the Government’s proposals, everyone below the age of 25 who has
been unemployed for more than six months will be guaranteed full-time
study or work in the private or voluntary sector or with Labour’s
environment task force.
Any advertising campaign will be monitored by the Tories, who may accuse
Labour of ’political advertising’.
Elsewhere in the Budget, agencies will be pleased by the Chancellor’s
decision to cut corporation tax for small companies by 2 per cent. The
Chancellor continued the Government’s war on tobacco by putting up the
price of cigarettes by 19p a packet from 1 December. He also increased
tax on petrol and diesel by 4p a litre.
Despite his preference for water over whisky, Brown went easy on
alcohol, declaring that duties will rise only in line with inflation
from January 1998. A predicted tax on alcopops, to put them beyond the
pockets of teenagers, did not materialise.