FH clinches brief to ease launch of smoking ban

The Government is to use Fishburn Hedges to drum up trade support for the smoking ban that comes into effect in England and Wales next July.

FH is handling a stakeholder relations brief, highlighting particulars of the legislation among bodies including the CBI, Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, Action on Smoking and Health, and those in the hospitality industry.

Other targets include the British Beer and Pub Association.

The campaign, which will run ­until the ban comes into ­effect, will be accompanied by TV ads in England and Wales in the run-up to Christmas. The ads were shot by Hollywood cinematographer Barry Ackroyd, who worked on film United 93.

The smoking ban will apply to pubs, clubs, workplaces, private clubs and any ‘substantially enclosed public space'. But industry bodies have warned that this definition is vague. In Scotland, where a ban came into effect on 26 March, councils have developed individual anti-smoking policies, leading to confusion regarding planning permission for covered outside areas.

The hospitality industry is also concerned about the system of fines for landlords found flouting the ban, and problems with noise and litter caused by people smoking outside premises.

The Department of Health is planning a con­sumer PR campaign but is yet to appoint an agency, PRWeek understands. The consumer brief is expected to centre around the dangers of passive smoking.

FH already handles flagship government information campaigns including drug awareness (‘Frank') and road safety (‘Think').  Fees for the new account are undisclosed.

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