Government asks WCRS to devise flu push

The Government is making plans for an advertising campaign to inform the public about a potential flu pandemic, following predictions from experts who study flu viruses about a devastating outbreak.

It is thought that the campaign will be created by its “standby” agency WCRS.

The new campaign will be designed to reduce the spread of the flu virus, with the Department of Health advising people to avoid travel and cancel events where large crowds gather. A spokeswoman for the Department of Health confirms that “plans are in place” for a public information campaign.

Unlike the normal winter flu, the expected pandemic, according to experts, could strike during the spring or summer and virtually no one will have immunity.

It is anticipated that the outbreak could claim 50,000 British lives – however a “worst case” prediction suggests that up to 750,000 people could die in the UK.

It is expected that this country will get a bit of notice – experts believe the pandemic will begin in South-East Asia and take weeks to travel to the UK.

Three years ago, the COI split its standby advertising business between WCRS and Walsh Trott Chick Smith.

The agencies are asked to create campaigns when there is insufficient time to carry out a standard pitch for a piece of business, or when a quick turnaround of creative solutions for key public policy issues is needed.

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