DfT hands FH entire road safety account

The Department for Transport (DfT) has appointed Fishburn Hedges to run its THINK! road safety campaign targeting adults.

The new account consolidates all campaign activity under one roof, FH having managed the children’s road safety awareness campaign for the last two years.

Previously managed by QBO Bell Pottinger, the adult campaign – which kicks off with warnings about driving while tired – was handed over in time for the Easter weekend.

DfT head of marketing, David Murphy said: ‘Through the course of the year, we will be commissioning adverts on the TV and radio and other media reminding people to think about road safety and we will be working through FH to access the press.’

FH’s contract runs for 12 months with a possible extension of another two years. The adult aspect of the campaign covers drink and drug driving, seat belts, speeding, mobile phone use, motorbike safety and fatigue.

The school holidays and Easter weekend are seen as key times for the agency to publicise the dangers of fatigue. Other aspects of the campaign will also take account of seasonal trends, with the number of drink driving accidents soaring during the summer.

The DfT is keen to target business drivers, particularly in light of the new legislation on the use of mobile phones. Two-thirds of drivers who use their car for work feel pressured to keep their mobile phone switched on, according to research by TNS.

DfT head of road safety publicity Jo Rushton said: ‘We’re pleased that we’ve been able to bring all of the strands of the THINK! PR campaign together, not least because it simplifies things for journalists as well as third-party organisations.’

The child road safety campaign publicised by FH achieved prominence with its ‘shock-tactic’ TV ad which featured a car hitting a child in slow motion.

FH director Victoria Tate said: ‘In our adult campaign, we will be using media relations, celebrities and some similar tactics to the child safety campaign. The advertising will be split between Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO and Leo Burnett.

The decision to use a single agency instead of two was taken by Rushton, who recently replaced Tony Aldworth as the civil servant

in charge of road safety publicity.

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