The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is understood to be looking for an advertising agency to create a campaign aimed at getting older people back to work.
The account is believed to be worth £5m and will highlight a change in law that makes it illegal to discriminate on the grounds of age and will promote the benefits of having older workers.
A DWP spokesman was unable to confirm the campaign but says: “On the back of the Age Discrimination Act that was introduced last year, we are doing a lot to encourage employment in this area and to promote what older people can contribute to the workforce. We have been doing this at face level through our Job Centre Plus.”
The DWP is one of Whitehall’s biggest advertising spenders and has an annual budget of more than £20m.
Last year it appointed VCCP and Cheethambell JWT to work on a £7m campaign to tackle benefit fraud after axing incumbent agency Leo Burnett. In a move away from targeting the perpetrators, one part of the campaign, spearheaded by VCCP, focused on what constitutes benefit fraud including filling in forms incorrectly. Cheethambell was tasked with raising awareness of the fraud in a bid to reduce it. The DWP estimates that benefit fraud costs the country £900m each year.
MindShare was handed the DWP’s £3.5m media planning and buying business in June last year.