Anti-smoking ad campaign is hindered

Disagreements between the Government and Cancer Research UK are hindering the appointment of an ad agency for the charity’s government-funded anti-smoking campaign.

Cancer Research UK wants to conduct research into the effectiveness of anti-smoking campaigns around the world, but was told by the Department of Health, which is funding the project, to restrict its activities to developing a campaign.

Other difficulties with the Government are caused by Cancer Research UK’s history of criticising the tobacco industry. But the charity says the campaign will attack products rather than the industry. This is believed to be due to Government sensitivities about being seen to be funding an attack on the sector.

The charity’s campaign is due to break this autumn. At the same time tobacco brands will be forced to ditch descriptions such as light or mild.

Cancer Research UK says it has already had discussions with three undisclosed agencies and hopes to make an announcement next week.

The Government announced last month that it would give &£15m to be shared between Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation to fund anti-smoking campaigns.

The British Heart Foundation is to choose between Mother and incumbent Partners BDDH in the next two weeks.

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