Mobile giants remain muted on car ban

Leading mobile phone companies have decided not to develop public-service campaigns to promote awareness of the law regarding the use of mobile telephones while at the wheel, which came into force on December 1.

O2 is understood to have looked at executions from its advertising agency, Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest for a “Don’t call and drive” campaign but decided against the move. Instead it is offering 50 per cent off hands-free car kits and promoting the offer with ads on moving media such as the back of buses.

Vodafone also considered running a consumer information campaign, but it too decided against it. A spokes-man says: “It was deemed unnecessary or irrelevant in this environment.”

Orange says it is informing its consumers, sending text messages to pay-as-you-go customers and including information with bills to contract customers. It is also providing leaflets on the ban through its stores.

The level of public confusion about the law has been highlighted by a Tesco Mobile survey, which showed that 94 per cent of people were unaware of the change. Tesco has put posters into store to alert customers.

The Department of Transport is running radio ads adapted from an earlier road safety campaign. The Association of Chief Police Officers is recommending that police in England and Wales – but not Scotland – give verbal warnings until February.

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