The agencies working for the Departments of Environment and
Transport are facing a review of their accounts following the
Government’s decision to forge closer links between the two Whitehall
John Prescott, the deputy prime minister, was put in charge of the
environment, transport and the regions after last month’s general
election and is now drawing up plans to make his ’super-ministry’ a
Some insiders believe Prescott’s new Whitehall empire will not need all
three of the agencies that it inherited from the old Conservative
DMB&B handles both the anti-drink drive and child road safety campaigns,
Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO is in charge of the pounds 3.5 million ’kill
your speed’ campaign and Grey has run the ’costing the earth’
The issue may come to a head if Department of Transport ministers go
ahead with their plans for a new campaign to warn motorists not to use
their mobile telephones while they are driving.
Baroness Hayman, the road safety minister, is seeking talks with phone
manufacturers to urge them to spell out the dangers. She is also keen to
launch a big advertising offensive.
The campaign could be awarded to DMB&B or Abbott Mead. Alternatively,
there could be a pitch that involves both the agencies and other
The agency roster may also be reviewed if Prescott decides to launch a
campaign that would span the new integrated department.
Grey would then find itself in the running for the account.
In the meantime, Abbott Mead will go ahead with the latest execution of
the ’kill your speed’ campaign in September.
Labour ministers have given the agency their strong backing by
suggesting they may cut speed limits in urban areas, bring in heavier
fines for speeding and tougher enforcement.
Whitehall sources said no decision had been taken but confirmed the need
for an agency review was ’under consideration’. The outcome could depend
on the final shape of Prescott’s new power base.