Your story and editorial criticising the forthcoming Customs & Excise campaign might have had a degree of credibility had it referred to the campaign we are developing rather than an imagined one.
As you acknowledge in your article, Customs & Excise has at present a number of different “Hotlines”: for drugs; for alcohol and tobacco; for endangered species; firearms and paedophilia. These have each shown successes.
We have taken a decision to bring these together into a single, more memorable, number. The very limited campaign on which we have engaged JWT Manchester aims to make this new number – 0800 59 5000 – more visible to the traveller and the public more generally.
Promoting this number in relation to alcohol and tobacco, we have asked JWT to begin to give the lie to a belief in some quarters that bootleggers are “Jack the Lads”. They can threaten the livelihood of the corner shopkeeper and undermine honest businesses, as well as affecting UK revenue.
What we have not asked for (and do not expect JWT to deliver) is a campaign to replace the substantial and increasingly successful intelligence-led work of our officers in tackling these parasites.
Head of Communications
HM Customs and Excise