DoH pitches new campaign to cut drug use

The Government has invited four agencies to pitch for a PR campaign aimed at cutting drug abuse.

Children as young as 11 will be targeted in the campaign, for which a tender document was sent out last week.

Harrison Cowley, Fishburn Hedges, Countrywide Porter Novelli and Brewer Blackler were last week approached by the Department of Health, with pitches set to take place within the next few weeks, according to a DoH spokeswoman.

The spokeswoman confirmed the PR campaign would launch in the spring, saying: 'There will be messages appropriate for young people. How those messages will be targeted is yet to be decided.'

She stressed the campaign would focus on cutting the number of users of Class A drugs such as heroin.

In October last year, the Home Office and the DoH, working through COI Communications, hired ad agency Mother and media planner PHD to work on the campaign - funded by the Home Office and the DoH, working with the Department for Education and Skills.

The Government's drugs strategy was originallylaunched in 1998, but an updated strategy was unveiled by the Home Office last December.

Home secretary David Blunkett pledged that funds devoted to tackling drug abuse would increase from around £1.1bn at present to £1.5bn in the year from April 2005.

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