Lack of support strangles TV careers campaign

Moves to launch a high-profile TV advertising campaign to promote careers in engineering have been dropped after the UK’s biggest engineering firms failed to lend their financial support to the project. Campaign promoters from the main engineering organisations have been pitching the proposals to the UK’s thirty biggest engineering employers, making repeated presentations over the […]

Moves to launch a high-profile TV advertising campaign to promote careers in engineering have been dropped after the UK’s biggest engineering firms failed to lend their financial support to the project.

Campaign promoters from the main engineering organisations have been pitching the proposals to the UK’s thirty biggest engineering employers, making repeated presentations over the past ten months, and seeking sums of up to £1m.

The campaign, which targeted teenagers, would have cost £3-5m per year for a period of five years.

Last week, despite £100,000 of creative work by London ad agency J Walter Thompson and a succession of last-ditch attempts to secure corporate support for the idea, the plan was dropped. It was launched by a grouping of the Engineering Council, the Engineering Employers’ Federation, and the Engineering and Marine Training Authority.

The group said economic pressures and millennium initiatives had worked against getting the required support for the campaign, which is officially postponed rather than scrapped.

`The concept is not dead,’ said EMTA chief executive Michael Sanderson.

Leader comment, p10

Commercial breakdown

* Nov 1997: Engineering Council launches campaign idea. EEF and EMTA get on board to form Engineering Marketing Group (EMG).

* Jan 1998: EMG pledges £1m per year of campaign’s £5m-per-year costs.

* Mar 1998: Agencies pitch for £100,000 development of creative work.

* May 1998: Advertising agency J Walter Thompson appointed.

* July 1998: Creative work completed.

* Sept-Dec 1998: Presentations begin to 30 UK engineering companies seeking £1m from each. No funding is pledged.

* Jan-Jul 1999: Further presentations to top companies. Still no pledges.

* April 1999: Department of Trade and Industry pledges £250,000 per year for campaign, but only with commercial support. None is forthcoming.

* July 1999: Still no funding. Campaign is shelved.

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