Iris picks up 2m brief to launch Government welfare programme

Iris is understood to have won the 2m integrated brief to launch the Employment and Support Allowance for the Department for Work and Pensions. It follows a competitive pitch against un-disclosed agencies handled by COI

James%20Purnell%2C%20Employment%20and%20Support%20Allowance%20for%20the%20Department%20for%20Work%20and%20PensionIris is understood to have won the £2m integrated brief to launch the Employment and Support Allowance for the Department for Work and Pensions. It follows a competitive pitch against un-disclosed agencies handled by COI.

The ESA scheme launches in October this year and will replace Incapacity Benefit and Income Support.

The move will mark the next major phase in the Government’s implementation of its welfare reform programme, and will aim to move one million people from Incapacity Benefit by 2015.

It is expected the support marketing campaign will launch just as the ESA comes into place.

James Purnell, the secretary of state for work, says the introduction of ESA will mean extra support for the poorest, most disabled members of society.

As part of the changes, all new and repeat claimants will undergo a work capability assessment, which will look at what people can do rather than what they cannot.

Last week, Iris announced the acquisition of management consultancy Concise for $5m (£2.5m). The agency says the move will broaden its ability to deliver beyond “traditional” marketing services.

The move will also form part of the agency’s overall growth plans, after it received funding from the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Entrepreneur Challenge last year (, May 1).

It has had a good year so far, winning the £10mpan-European advertising business for car-rental company Hertz in March ( uk, March 12), as well as being appointed to handle Sony Ericsson’s global activation strategy (, March 11).

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