Gov’t in talks with agencies about public health brief

The Department of Health (DoH) is in discussions with advertising agencies about developing campaigns to tackle major public health concerns.

The Department is in consultation with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) – an independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance on the promotion of good health, and the prevention and treatment of ill health – to set the agenda for Labour’s health manifesto for next year. The consultation will spell out how the Government will devise its advertising strategy when marketing health issues to the public.

The DoH is thought to have held meetings with agencies on the COI Communications roster, which was finalised last month.

As part of the Labour Party’s last election manifesto, Tony Blair pledged to tackle public health issues head-on. The DoH is calling on NICE to help it improve the health of the nation.

It is likely that campaigns rolled out by the institute and successful agencies would concentrate on issues such as obesity and smoking, focusing on advising health workers to help people improve their way of life.

In April, NICE merged with the Health Development Agency. The combined body will advise people working in the NHS, local authorities and the wider public, private and voluntary sectors.

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