Zenith and PHD fight for Customs task

COI is holding a pitch to find a media planning agency to work for HM Revenue & Customs.

ZenithOptimedia and PHD are pitching head to head for the brief, which involves targeting small- and medium-sized businesses to raise awareness of a new measure to tackle spirits duty fraud.

The UK Duty Stamps Scheme means that spirits or wine sold with an alcohol strength of more than 30 per cent must carry a Duty Stamp.

The move is designed to stop small retailers selling imported spirits without having paid duty. The new rules come into force on 1 October.

The two media agencies have been briefed to develop ideas on how to communicate the launch. Cheethambell JWT is the creative agency for HM Revenue & Customs alcohol stamp duty.

HM Revenue & Customs was created by a merger of the Inland Revenue with Customs & Excise in 2004.

Both ZenithOptimedia and PHD were retained on COI's £148 million planning roster when it was overhauled in February.

In a separate move, HM Customs has relaxed the rules governing the importation of alcohol and tobacco for personal use.