The MAB Executive has asked Mike Dewar's publicity agency, Mike Dewar Associates (MDA), for some figures by which the success of the campaign can be measured.
Mike Dewar took on the Memorial Awareness Board (MAB) account in 1995 after MAB split with Sam Weller Associates, the previous campaign co-ordinators of 13 years, after NAMM, the trade body of memorial masons, took exception to the direction MAB had taken.
Dewar was then working for Albermarle Connection, another London PR company. He said at the time he thought a PR company would probably have exhausted its value to a client after five years.
At the end of 1996 Dewar left Albermarle to start his own business, which has held the MAB account for just over four years. He says he still feels clients should change agencies every five years if the agency has run out of ideas. But he adds: "Don't knock it if it's still working."
He feels the campaign has been kept fresh at MDA by the help of three different account executives working on it over the years as well as himself. The current account executive is Jeannie Wyness.
The MAB Executive renewed MDA's contract for a further three years in October 1999 but have now decided they want more information about what the agency is achieving.
The chairman of the MAB Executive is Graeme Robertson of Aberdeen-based makers and suppliers of memorials throughout Scotland and England, A & J Robertson (Granite). He says: "The MAB Executive is asking the agency to record its work and the response it's getting in order to monitor the effect of the campaign."
The agency has always reported the number of publications, TV and radio programmes on which it has gained publicity and the potential audiences of those media - and it is in impressive millions.
Now, however, Graeme Robertson says the MAB Executive and levy payers want more information.
So in future MDA will be recording the number of leaflets and brochures ordered from them, the number of visits to their website (when it is launched - perhaps in six months, says Jeannie Wyness), the number of contacts they receive from journalists (they have had 15 so far this year), and a qualitative analysis of reports in print and broadcast to see how well main memorialisation messages are getting through to journalists.
Figures will be recorded on a quarterly basis and as the data build up it will be possible to measure the relative effectiveness of the campaign over time.
They also plan to carry out a survey of levy-payers through their publication, the Bulletin, to ascertain how the campaign is perceived by the memorial industry.
Graeme Robertson says the request for more detailed information with which to measure the campaign is not the result of dissatisfaction with MDA. "We are very pleased with them," he says.
"The Executive are especially pleased with the relationships built up with burial authorities and the rest of the death care industry. I think that's a lot to do with MDA being well respected because they are doing a good job and getting results," says Robertson.