Freud lands £1m brief to get children involved in music

Government turns to Matthew Freud's agency to promote National Year of Music.

Making music: Matthew Freud appointed
Making music: Matthew Freud appointed

The Government has handed Freud Communications a massive £1m account to encourage schoolchildren to become involved in music.

PRWeek has learned the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) has appointed Matthew Freud's agency to promote the National Year of Music project, which gets under way in September.

The account runs for two years, at £500,000 per year.

Freud and the DCSF declined to reveal the details of the brief, but it is believed the department has stressed the importance of celebrity endorsement and stakeholder engagement.

In a letter sent to key stakeholders earlier this year, Children's Secretary Ed Balls said the campaign would focus on 'celebrating, extending and developing participation in music and other forms of cultural activity'.

The DCSF comms team is headed by director of communications Caroline Wright. The account was handed to Freud after a competitive tender handled by the Central Office of Information (COI). Matthew Freud's contact book spanning the world of media and entertainment is thought to have influenced the decision to bring in his agency.

The last major public sector brief handed to Freud was the Department of Health's Change for Life obesity campaign, awarded last July.

The big-budget appointment comes hot on the heels of the COI's announcement that it has spent £41m on PR and news management over the past year - more than 50 per cent up on the previous year.

It also coincides with research by the TaxPayers' Alliance that found government and public sector agencies are spending at least £37m a year on 'lobbying and political campaigning'.

MUSIC CONNECTIONS

Matthew Freud started out as an entertainment/showbiz PRO, working with clients such as Clannad and Hard Rock Cafe

Freud Communications is largely focused on corporate comms. Current music-related clients include TimeWarner, Sony, Universal and Paramount

Bono and Bob Geldof attended the 40th birthday party of Freud's wife Elisabeth Murdoch in 2008.

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