The government has appointed a top advertising agency to spearhead a campaign to breathe life into its flagging anti-cowboy scheme.
The agency is BDHTBWA, whose portfolio includes the Tizer campaign on cult children’s television show CD:UK, which is hosted by Ant and Dec and Cat Deeley. It has a number of high-profile clients, including Nissan, Time Computers, Focus Do It All, as well as AG Barr, which makes the fizzy drink Tizer.
Sources close to construction minister Nick Raynsford said the quality mark campaign, set to cost millions, would start when the Birmingham pilot is launched to the public, and would be rolled out nationally next year.
A spokesperson for the DETR could not give a launch date for the Birmingham scheme. He said: “Once we’ve got enough builders to start the scheme, the consumer campaign will be launched.” He was unable to say how many builders had to join before the scheme could be launched.
The agency declined to comment on its new contract and referred all enquires to the DETR.
The move comes at the same time as dot-com rival Improveline.com is preparing to tighten checks on its service. It is also putting money into making its service more accessible.
Marketing director Charles Pearce said the company intends to build its own national network of quantity surveyors. They would monitor all work carried out by registered builders on contracts worth more than £10 000 and institute random checks on smaller jobs.
Pearce said: “We’re looking at either directly employing a network of quantity surveyors or licensing out work to established local companies.” This service would be included in the price of larger jobs.