Saatchi and Saatchi has landed a pounds 750,000 campaign for the
Government, aimed at reversing a recruitment crisis among UK nurses.
The Department of Health has approved the first major ad blitz for
nursing since 1991 in an attempt to attract high-calibre recruits, lower
the drop-out rate and boost the image of the profession.
Saatchis won the drive without a pitch because previous campaigns have
been carried out by Laing Henry, now part of the agency.
The team based formerly at Laing Henry has advised the Government on
below-the-line recruitment efforts since 1991.
Romola Christopherson, the director of information at the Department of
Health, said: ‘They have a lot of background knowledge and understanding
of the issue.’
The push, which will break in the new year, will run in women’s
magazines and colour supplements.
Four or five ads will be aimed at 17- to 24-year olds, their friends and
others who might influence them.
The ads will also tackle misconceptions about nursing.
Research for the Central Office of Information showed the campaign
proposed by Saatchis successfully reached the target audience.
The Government insists the campaign is not a direct recruitment effort,
but goes much wider.
However, the drive will be seen as a response to a warning by the Royal
College of Nursing that a quarter of all registered nurses will reach
retirement age by the year 2000 and that the number of nursing students
had dropped by 39 per cent in eight years.