Naked wins strategic Home Office brief

The Home Office has appointed Naked to work on its strategic brief to handle the way passport applications are being processed.

The agency won the business following a competitive pitch held by the COI, but it is not known which other agencies were involved.

The advertising activity is expected to break later this year. A spokesman for the Home Office says that Naked was chosen because the government department required a broad communications strategy rather than simply a straight above-the-line advertising campaign.

The overhaul of the passport application process is intended to combat identity fraud. From the end of 2006, all first-time adult applicants will have to attend an interview to confirm that they are who they claim to be. First-time applicants account for about 75% of passport fraud.

The campaign will inform the public that because of the additional security measures, both the cost and the amount of time it takes to apply for a passport will increase.

The UK Passport Service is in the process of setting up a national network of offices to handle interviews with up to 600,000 first-time applicants a year.

Other changes to the system include the introduction of biometric passports which store the facial image of the holder on a microchip. There are also plans to store fingerprint data, and iris scans are under consideration.

Naked has expertise in creating far-reaching communications strategies and was recently appointed to oversee a similar role for Age Concern.

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