back to article ID and Passport Service brings in ad men

The Identity and Passport Service has signed up an advertising agency to develop campaigns for its services. Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO won the contract following a three-way pitch organised by the Central Office of Information against CHI & Partners and VCCP. It will work in all media across the agency's entire area of work, …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Nick

    Why does IPS need to advertise?

    Why do they need to advertise?

    What will they say? "If you need a passport, don't go to our competitors for one. Get your passport from us. We're much better value than anyone else!"

    But: Oh, they haven't got any competition. They're the only option if you want a passport.

    I can only assume that it's more of an advert to improve public perception that the cost of a passport and the need for ID cards are justified.

  2. Nigel Whitfield


    It's hard to see this as anything other than propaganda for the ID card scheme.

    What are the benefits of advertising the other services? It's not like there's much competition - you can't go anywhere else to register births and deaths, and at the points where you're likely to do so (hospitals, for example) there will be people who can tell you what you need to do.

    Do people need advertising to explain to them that a passport is the thing you have to get when you're travelling abroad?

    And I can't honestly imagine they're planning a big push telling people about using the GRO services as part of looking up their family tree; it's not exactly a secret, or something that people will avoid doing unless they're reminded by an advert.

    So, that leaves the ID card scheme, and the need to persuade people that really, honestly, it's a good idea. And that is little other than on-sided propaganda.

  3. b

    That is...

    OUR MONEY they're spending to advertise this guff to us.


  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    tricky pitch

    Must be hard advertising the products that the IPS offers. "Buy an ID card or we send you to jail. Now only £110! "

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you know

    would it be possible to run a TV ad Campaign against the ID cards and National ID Register, you know lots of black marble crushing freedom with soldiers goose stepping in the background?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Waste of money

    I mean everyone's clamouring for these ID cards, aren't they? I mean Jacqui's having to fight them off!

    Why'd you need a PR department for something so spectactularly popular and destined for success?

    I love Big Brother.

  7. Eponymous Cowherd
    Black Helicopters

    Hang on a minute.....

    Why are the IPS calling in the ad men for something most of us will have no choice over? It can't be to sell us ID cards and the NIR because, assuming Labour win the next election, they will be, effectively, compulsory.

    And there's the rub. "assuming Labour win the next election".

    So these will effectively be party-political ads (because all other major parties will scrap ID cards and the NIR) on behalf of the Labour Party, paid for by the tax payer.

    Isn't that illegal? If not, it bloody well should be.

    And I, for one, strongly object to my taxes being used to advertise and promote this intrusive, unnecessary and unwanted erosion of my civil liberties!

  8. Nomen Publicus

    Use an old idea

    Scene opens on a close up of a man holding holding a cute little puppy. The camera pulls back so we can see that the man is also holding a gun. He puts the gun to the puppy's head.

    Man: Get an ID card or the puppy dies!

    The screen goes blank and we hear the sound of a gun being cocked.

  9. Lyndon Hills
    Thumb Down


    <quote>James Hall, IPS chief executive, said: "IPS needs an agency to support the development of a creative strategy targeting a variety of audiences across all our work, including the National Identity Scheme</quote>

    Why do they need an ad agency? If you want a passport it's not as if there's any one else you can go to. While I don't think anyone actually wants an Id card, again if you do there is no choice.

  10. EdwardP

    When facts fail to garner support...

    ...bring in the spin artists.

    The government that listens is obviously has the headphones in...

  11. EdwardP
    Thumb Down

    Mods: Correction pls :D


    Pls :D

    If you can't, then don't bother to post this follow up.

  12. John Colman
    Paris Hilton

    Monkey Dust?

    Much like the fictional "Labia" corp in the BBC's Monkey Dust... Complete with the top man on the job of finding the new name...




    But I think the rebrand will be to:

    "Paris Hilton" - Even she can't keep her personal details and private movies private, so what chance do the government have?

  13. Nic Brough


    Surely it would be better to get the Orang Utan to run the ID card scheme than just advertise it?

    I'd trust "a size eight body in a size 12 skin" with a banana fetish infinitely more than the government with any ID information.

  14. Ash


    So not only are they spending MY tax money on a project *I* don't want, they further have the nerve to CHARGE me for the outcome, they then go and use MORE of MY tax money to somehow sell to me that this is a GOOD IDEA.

    It's my fault, really. I should have started civil disobedience about 5 years ago. Sucks to become informed so late in the game.

  15. g e

    I know...

    The storyboard will show a chap speaking English getting onto a bus at a terminal. The driver will look at him for a brief moment then say 'powodzenia' to which the chap relies 'dziękuję' without thinking and promptly gets carted off to immigration control

    Polish courtesy of Google xlator, idea courtesy of The Great Escape, LOL

    If they use that I'm suing.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Recession spending

    Ah more government advertising. Because what the country needs now is a taxpayer bailoutof the Bolivian cocaine industry.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Call for alternative slogans

    I think this is a very good occasion to come up with some alternative slogans, so that they can be repeated everywhere as soon as the campaign goes live.

    Things like "Only foreigners have identity crisis" or "Reduce waste, stop ID cards" - whatever, I'm sure there are better ones out there.

  18. Austin Chamberlain


    What earthly reason could the IPS have for needing an ad service? The services they offer are compulsory - passports are required for international travel, and ID cards are required for the NuLab surveillance state.

    The only possible output for this ad agency is crude propaganda to win people over to ID cards. What a waste of money!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    After the Banks.....comes the

    Get the government's blank cheque books out again, as it says:

    'has no firm value.....will obtain a commission from the advertising it places for the IPS'

    So, what is compulsory by the ongoing failure of Jacqui Smith will have to be paid for by us, to be advertised 'with no firm value', meaning, 'we dare not tell how many £Billions we will waste on this open contract'.

    Navy, NHS, Banks, Immigration, etc. Here we go again! The bottomless compulsory tax waster in action.

  20. TeeCee Gold badge

    That advert.

    Orang-Utans, goose-stepping soldiers, Polish Bus drivers, the visuals don't matter.

    What's important is that the soundtrack should be a recording of a Football crowd singing "What a load of Bollocks".

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. The way things are going we're going to need a bloody big wall When The Revolution Comes, as the list of those who should be first against it just keeps getting longer. I think the Chinese have one of about the right size that we might be able to rent for a day......

  21. Richard

    I want my money back

    It is *my* money that they're spending on this nonsense ...

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Prepare to complain to the ASA

    I think we all know that the message that gets put out by whatever agency, certainly with reference to ID cards, will either be economical with the truth, or straight up FUD.

    If the ASA gets enough complaints, they'll have no option (one would hope) but to pull the advertising.

    Send complaint in 3....2....1....

  23. robert cooke
    Thumb Down


    So I'm not the only person who watched monkey dust! that was an awesome show, I've got all the AVI's and give it to anyone that listens to my rants.

    Is this not sickening, how this joke of a government works. with the levels of paranoia running through parliment I think we need an inquiry to see if there is something wrong with their water. people that scared should be in a protective environment (like, maybe broadmoor) not free to roam the streets and make the rest of our lives hell.

    I will never submit to ID scheme and would rather go to prison.

  24. Scott
    Black Helicopters

    Our money

    Can everyone please stop saying "our/my money" when talking about taxes, Mr Brown spent "our/my" money years ago and is now having to print more money just to fill the hole he created. and Wacki Jacki spends on her home in London (was going to rent my sisters flat like Jack-boot-Jacki but £750,00 a year rent seems a bit much to me).

  25. M Room
    Thumb Down

    Lets go for it

    What a great way to spend my tax money. Can I have some back for the following advertisement:

    Hi subordinate population - you really need to register with us and see what you get:

    For your FREE voluntary multi-useful ID Card (only to be paid for every 5 or 10 years) we will give you totally FREE:

    Access to tax forms to fill in.

    Access to Council tax registration.

    Ability to register for births, deaths and marriages.

    Police help (when available) should you need it.

    Ability to be able to register your car, pay insurance, use a bank account, drink in public places.

    Be admitted to an NHS facility for treatment (providing there is room).

    Hold a driving licence.

    Be entered on our National database allowing you (us) total control over your life and the lives of your family.

    Register your car for annual payment of road tax.

    Go to super small print:

    The registration for an ID Card will ensure that any unpaid speeding fines, tax payments or other contraventions to our totally democratic and free society are paid for in full or you will be denied any of the above services until the said fines are paid.

    We guarantee that all your personal information will be safeguarded and only disclosed to those that need it but cannot be held responsible should it fall into anyone else's hands.

    We will not track your movements or use your fingerprints or DNA except where necessary to ensure you or a member of your family are convicted for any crime we may think up.

    We will in no way be held responsible for anyone forging your ID Card or making improper use of it or the registered information which may or may not be accurate.

    You do not have to carry the ID Card with you at all times but must produce it immediately to any authority that wishes to see it.

    Loss of an ID Card will impose a fee equal to the cost of the initial card plus the cost of a replacement card plus a certified statement detailing the circumstances surrounding the loss plus a fine of £1,000 for the first offence increasing by £1,000 for each subsequent loss.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    "creative strategy"

    "IPS needs an agency to support the development of a creative strategy targeting a variety of audiences across all our work, including the National Identity Scheme."

    "... creative strategy ..."

    "... creative ..."

    "Creative", as in making stuff up? As in lying? As in propaganda?

    Reminds me of the origins of the term "Public Relations" - just a PR euphemism for propaganda. ( Sounds like "PR" is now such a dirty term as well that they're calling it "advertising".

    Paris, because she has public relations. In various senses.

  27. John Smith Gold badge

    And its a PFI (Sort of)

    "A spokesperson for the IPS told GC News that the agency is not on a paid retainer, but will obtain a commission from the advertising it places for the IPS"

    so nothing down but the rates for a publication are whatever the agency gets. No "Capital" investment but plenty if ads are placed. Sound familiar?

    And note the following from Ch4 dispatches (Monday March9th)

    UK Gov s now biggest single purchaser of Advertising in UK.

    Upcoming study of PFI' from 1997 to current will show they bought c£63bn of assets without increasing Government debt

    But over the next 30-40 years will cost us the taxpayer c£240bn, roughly a 280% profit.

    Pirate because I do feel boarded and looted.

  28. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    Advert script....

    Here are the simple instructions on how to obtain your ID card:

    1) Lower trousers

    2) Bend over and grab ankles

    3) Get your ID!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If said ad is going to be anything like the sinister and slightly menacing crap churned out by TVLA and DVLA, you know that shit about "we have you on the database, we know where you live" then they should be reminded that we have the technology to find out where THEY live.

    We are in NuLabour wet-dream territory here: making money for their commercial partners while oppressing the people.

    A bigger collection of sorry ass pieces of shit it would be hard to find outside a sewage plant.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Sewage

    "... they should be reminded that we have the technology to find out where THEY live."

    MPs are closing that loophole:

  31. Gordon Stewart


    Utterly pointless - yet another disgraceful waste of public funds :o/

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Hang on ...

    So ... Not only are we paying for these damn cards, but we're paying for them to advertise to us about how great these cards are?

    Do ... not ... want!

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like