COI appoints CDP to 1.5m Links account

The Central Office of Information has appointed CDP to handle a 1.5m advertising campaign for its Business Links programme.

Business Links, which was the brainchild of former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine, is a nationwide network of 240 advice centres for growing businesses. It provides across-the-board advice to business, and a single point of access for business support from public and private sources.

CDP won the account after a four-way pitch against the incumbent, Grey Integrated, together with Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO and Young & Rubicam.

CDP’s appointment coincides with a Labour push to improve the quality of the Links initiative. The Links scheme has been criticised by small firms minister Barbara Roche, who describes its performance and quality as “patchy”.

There were fears that Labour would try to scrap Links. Instead, Roche is introducing 18 measures to improve the network, including the launch of league tables and a range of national professional standards of competence for the Links.

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