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Government campaigns to tackle drunkenness

A brief has been unveiled for the next generation of government-funded “sensible drinking” publicity in the UK. The aim of the campaign, costing an estimated £10 million, is to raise awareness of alcohol units, challenge public acceptance of drunkenness and offer advice for heavy drinkers.

The communications drive will begin in April 2008 and three advertising agencies, AMV-BBDO, DDB London and VCCP have been asked to submit proposals.

The three priority audience groups identified by the Home Office are:
– 18-24 year-old binge drinkers, in particular those who are responsible for the majority of alcohol-related crime and disorder.
–  Harmful drinkers, especially those who are unaware that their drinking patterns damage their physical and mental health.
– Underage drinkers.
“Changing our drinking culture is one of the most challenging briefs facing Government,” said Cerys Adams, member of the cross-Government Alcohol Strategy Delivery Group. “This marks a significant change of gear in how we communicate with the public about alcohol and I look forward to seeing the agencies’ creative propositions over the coming months.”

Any proposed campaign will build on the Know Your Limits brand, launched in October 2006. The chosen advertising agencies will be invited to pitch formally in early October after which the strategies will be subject to independent consumer research. It is expected the winning proposal will be announced in mid-November.
The Home Office and Department of Health are jointly funding the campaigns.

Patrick Schmitt, 05/09/07

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