Ian Schoolar, the very first marketing director for the Revenue or any other Whitehall office, admitted today that the name of the department would be discussed once work got under way on a new strategic marketing campaign.
Schoolar has £5m to spend promoting self-assessment which the Revenue revealed today would be publicised in the short term by Mrs Doyle, a character from the hit Channel 4 series Father Ted.
Mrs Doyle is Schoolar’s first campaign at the Revenue but the real test will come once work with M&C Saatchi is under way. A name change will be among the many options under discussion with the ad men who became famous for numerous Tory election campaigns and phrases such as ‘Labour isn’t working’.
M&C Saatchi was appointed alongside branding consultancy Corporate Edge to work on promoting the Revenue as ‘a customer-driven department’ in line with Labour’s ‘modernising agenda’.
Revenue chairman Nick Montagu has been at pains to transform the department from an ‘enforcement’ body to an ‘enabling’ organisation and the marketing campaign will tie in with wishes to make the general public aware of the changes.
John Whiting, president of the Chartered Institute of Taxation and a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, commented: ‘The Board of the Inland Revenue doesn’t sound like a warm, cuddly, customer-focused organisation but on the other hand, what could they name it.
‘But it is a fascinating prospect, I just hope they don’t spend millions on it.’
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