Conservative Party slams marketing launch of ID cards as 'wasteful'

LONDON - The Conservative Party has accused the government of 'wasting taxpayers' money' as the marketing plans for its controversial identity card scheme are revealed.

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) will unveil animated fingerprint characters this week to promote the scheme to businesses, ahead of a consumer campaign in early 2010. The first wave of activity aims to build recognition among those businesses that will be regularly presented with cards by consumers. These include those in the retail, finance and education sectors.

'The government is wasting vast sums of taxpayers' money on the scheme,' said shadow home secretary Chris Grayling. 'Instead of marketing the scheme, it should be scrapping it.' The Conservative Party has pledged to axe the cards if it wins the next general election.

The cards, which will be available by the end of the year, will initially be promoted to 16- to 25-year-old consumers in the North West of England through an integrated drive.

'We wanted a creative execution that would have personality and warmth, but that at the same time would have the credibility of a government campaign,' said Isabel Hunt, executive director, communications and marketing at the IPS. 'The use of imagery also avoids the risk of stereotypes.'

ID card scheme

  • The scheme, which includes ID cards, biometric passports and a national identity register, is expected to cost more than £5bn.
  • According to the government, the Conservative Party's plans to scrap the cards would cost £40m.
  • The government is aiming for the scheme to gain national coverage by 2012.




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