The Government is considering launching a campaign to promote the Child
Support Agency and could soon ask agencies to pitch.
A pounds 180,000 test campaign through the CSA incumbent, Leo Burnett,
is currently running in Manchester. A national advertising push may
follow if it proves successful in dispelling the so-called ‘myths’ about
Ministers will discuss a national campaign after studying the Central
Office of Information’s research findings from the pilot.
No budget has been fixed, but the adspend is likely to be about pounds
1-2 million. The Government has not decided whether it will award the
work to Burnetts or call a pitch.
Burnetts’ ads challenge six popular myths about the CSA, including the
belief that it stops fathers from having enough money for a new life,
that their new partner has to pay towards the cost of maintaining
children from a previous relationship and that fathers may be better off
on state benefits than in work.
Andrew Mitchell, the junior minister responsible for the CSA, favours a
big campaign, but his boss, the Social Security Secretary, Peter Lilley,
fears that a national ad blitz may re-ignite controversy about the
The Manchester campaign, which broke last Thursday, has been criticised
by the Network Against the Child Support Act. Its spokesman, Paul Doxey,
commented: ‘These are not myths, they are facts. The campaign is grossly
The ads are running in local newspapers, on local radio and on poster