Viacom signs up Government for ‘Force for Good’ ad scheme

Viacom Brand Solutions (VBS), the sales house for MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon and Paramount Comedy, has teamed up with the Government to launch its “Force for Good” advertising initiative.

The sales house has signed the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) as the first of ten pro-social advertisers, which VBS promises to match pound for pound with media investment across its channels.

The first campaign has been created for the department’s Fire Kill’s strategy. The TV ad, which has been developed with DCLG media agency Carat, has been created specifically for the VBS deal and will run for a month. It will be supported by a microsite that includes tips, games and information about fire safety.

VBS managing director Nick Bampton launched the scheme last year in a bid to highlight the importance of advertising and fight against existing and proposed ad bans (MW November 22). He says TV advertising is increasingly and often unfairly being cast in a negative light. VBS also wants to encourage brands in sectors such as healthy children’s food, hybrid cars and energy efficient products to advertise on its channels.

It is thought to be in talks with about 20 brands over pro-social campaigns, and is considering “branding” pro-social ads with an on-screen “Force for Good” logo.

The scheme follows TV restrictions on ads promoting “junk” foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) and amid calls for further regulations in a variety of sectors, including toys and games and alcohol products.

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