The Department of Health has appointed digital agency LBi to help build an online strategy for a potential pandemic flu outbreak.
The brief for the agency, which won the pitch against undisclosed agencies, will be to get the threat of pandemic flu – more serious than ordinary flu and avian flu – onto the public agenda as part of a new campaign. The pitch was overseen by the COI.
LBi will assist the DoH in developing digital communications strategies that will help the public understand the threat of a pandemic and what steps are needed to protect both themselves and the larger community.
Included in the wide-reaching campaign will be public health and emergency preparedness research, partnership and coalition building, stakeholder communication, materials development, interactive strat-egies and media relations.
LBi will also create a website that will sit within the NHS Choices website, to reassure worried members of the public with advice on what they can do if an outbreak does occur.
The campaign, to include all marketing communications activity, is expected to cost £15m over five years.
LBi was unavailable for comment as Marketing Week went to press.
Sir Liam Donaldson, chief medical officer at the DoH, says: “Wherever in the world a flu pandemic starts, perhaps with its epicentre in the Far East, we must assume we will be unable to prevent it reaching the UK. When it does, its impact will be severe in the number of illnesses and the disruption to everyday life. The steps we are setting out will help us to reduce the disease’s impact on our population.”