Agencies lined up to sell engineering

Sector’s leading lobbyists join up to promote the profession

By Paul Carslake

A multi-million pound advertising and marketing campaign to promote engineering as a career is to be backed by the Engineering Council, the Engineering and Marine Training Authority, and the Engineering Employers Federation.

The Engineer has learned that four London advertising agencies have been invited to pitch for a campaign to get more bright youngsters into engineering and boost the image of the profession.

The promotion will run independently of the five-year campaign to follow up the Year of Engineering Success, which expects to put a business plan to potential patrons within eight weeks.

A spokesman for the Institution of Electrical Engineers, one of the founding patrons of Yes successor Quinco, denied any rivalry between the two initiatives. ‘Ours is more a PR-type of campaign,’ he said.

Industry sources said one of the options being examined for the advertising campaign was a series of TV ads aimed at teenagers. The initial phase, bringing the campaign to concept stage, is being funded by the three backers at a cost of £75,000.

The next phase will be to seek wider funding from industry. No Government cash is involved at this stage.

An EEF spokesman said: ‘TV is one of the media under consideration. Any campaign would be sustained over a number of years.’

Funding for the second stage could cost millions of pounds if TV ads are part of the media mix. The campaign could attract money from 50 planned Quinco patrons, who will each put in £10,000 annually for five years. Half the money will go into a campaign fund, with the rest spent on projects chosen by the sponsors.