The Home Office is poised to appoint Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest (VCCP) to its £10m binge drinking brief.
The agency is thought to have won in a pitch against one other undisclosed agency from an original shortlist of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and DDB London. A formal decision is expected to be announced by the Home Office in mid-November.
The brief will involve targeting 18- to 24-year-old binge drinkers, particularly those responsible for alcohol-related crime, underage drinkers and adult drinkers in danger of damaging their physical or mental health (MW June 21).
The Government’s first alcohol harm reduction strategy was launched in 2004. Yet its new strategy has a focus on the creating of public information campaigns to promote a new sensible drinking culture.
The brief marks the first occasion on which Government spending on an anti-alcohol campaign has matched that for anti-smoking or drugs. Previously, the Government has worked with charity Drinkaware Trust and industry body Portman Group on marketing initiatives.
News of the pitch followed the release of the Government’s recent national alcohol strategy.
The report, “Safe, Sensible, Social-Next Steps for the National Alcohol Strategy”, is a joint venture between the Department of Health and the Home Office.
The Government’s campaign to crack down on binge-drinking is one of the reasons that the Home Office’s ad spend has increased by 46% to £13.7m in 2006/07.
This figure represents the body’s highest spend for five years and a significant increase on the £9.4m spent by the department in 2005/06.