McCann-Erickson Manchester beats four to Government consumer helpline account

The Government has appointed McCann-Erickson Manchester to the multi-million pound account for its new telephone and online advice service for consumers – Consumer Direct – following a four-way pitch.

McCann-Erickson Manchester pitched alongside Mediaedge:CIA, which has been appointed to handle media planning and buying for the campaign.

The agencies pitched against Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy and Zenith Optimedia; DFGW and PHD; and BDH/TBWA and Starcom MediaVest. The pitch was overseen by COI Communications.

Consumer Direct is run by the Department of Trade and Industry and is operated in partnership with local authorities and existing support services, including Trading Standards. The service has been set up to give the public increased access to advice on a range of consumer protection issues.

The campaign will be expected to build the profile of the new service aimed at all consumers who are buying or have bought goods and services and are seeking advice or a redressal.

The campaign will initially be launched in Scotland, Wales, Yorkshire and the South-west this summer. It will be rolled out nationally by spring 2007.

The concept of a new national consumer helpline was first outlined in the 1999 Consumer White Paper, “Modern Markets; Confident Consumers,” which suggested there is a need to empower consumers to help them solve problems or disagreements with suppliers of goods and services.

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