The account, which includes direct and digital elements as well as TV ads, covers child and teen road safety, drink-driving, speed and seat-belt use.
It has been the subject of slanging match between the Advertising Association and the Government after Department for Transport figures released last week suggested that drink-driving deaths increased by 26% in 2012, bucking a long-term downward trend.
The Government has cut spending on road safety campaigns from £19m in 2008/09, to just £4m in 2011/12, which represents an 80% spending reduction. Commenting on the figures, AA chief executive Tim Lefroy blamed budget cuts made to the DfT’s drink-drive campaign. He said the figures were a “stark reminder to policy-makers that advertising can improve – and even save – lives, not just sales figures”. The Government disputes the claims.
Leo Burnett has handled Think! since 1979 but was not selected to be part of the Government’s new creative framework, revealed in February.
The Government Procurement Service approached a number of agencies on the roster over the account, including AMV, DLKW Lowe, Engine, Enter, Inferno, Kindred, M&C Saatchi, McCann Erickson, Ogilvy & Mather Group, and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R.
Leo Burnett won a gold IPA Effectiveness Award last year for its drink-driving campaign, which was credited with changing driving behaviour over a 30-year period, saving around 2,000 lives.
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