Cancer Research Uk DM THE ANSWER IS PLAIN by AMV BBDO London

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Industry Against Cancer
Media Direct marketing
Market United Kingdom
Agency AMV BBDO London
Director Finn Mcgough Producer
Executive Creative Director Paul Brazier
Creative Director Mike Hannett, Dave Buchanan Responsible Drinking
Art Director Thiago De Moraes
Producer Maddy Easton, Lindsay Hughes
Editor Suzy Norton
Released April 2013

Credits & Description

Category: Public Health & Safety, Public Awareness Messages
Producer: Maddy Easton (Rogue Rilms)
Writer: Mark Fairbanks (AMV BBDO)
Creative Director: Mike Hannett (AMV BBDO)
Executive Creative Director: Paul Brazier (AMV BBDO)
Editor: Suzy Norton (AMV The Lab)
Creative Director: Dave Buchanan (AMV BBDO)
Art Director: Thiago de Moraes (AMV BBDO)
Director: Finn McGough (Rogue Films)
Producer: Lindsay Hughes (AMV BBDO)

We wanted to investigate just what children thought of the branding on cigarette packs. So we got some schoolkids aged between 6 and 11 and gave them some brands. Then we simply asked them to tell us what they thought. The answers they gave were unsolicited and completely natural. The resulting reactions we turned into a film which showed just how powerful the effect cigarette branding has. Then we added a call to action to get viewers to join Cancer Research UK’s petition to lobby the Government to change all packs to plain packaging.

Client Brief Or Objective
Nearly 250,000 children in the UK under the age of 15 smoke, and more and more are starting every year. In an effort to address the problem the Government is in a consultation period to decide whether or not to introduce plain packaging for all cigarette brands. They need to work out whether it will make a difference. Cancer Research UK has the evidence that it will, as the gaudy designs on these packs are designed to attract people susceptible to branding – which of course includes children. Our brief is to generate public opinion to persuade the government to make plain packaging compulsory and sign a petition asking their member of parliament for a law to that effect.

Every newspaper and TV station has shown and discussed the ad, eminent doctors have come out in support, we have 92% of over 550,00 thousands of YouTube viewers ‘liking’ it. Even the Australian government used our ad as part of their successful campaign.Best of all, the normally complacent tobacco industry has been forced to act and have tried to repudiate the film. Unsuccessfully, as the vast majority of people on social media forums are massively in favour of what CRUK is trying to do. Their latest effort has been banned by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority.

The best result for the campaign will be the introduction of a plain cigarette packaging law. That goal seems to be on the horizon, on 06/03/13 the Guardian newspaper ran a front cover story with the title ‘Ministers to decree cigarettes must be sold in plain packs’, stating that the government will introduce the legislation ‘after becoming convinced branding is a significant factor in why young people start smoking’.The petition got over 220,000 signatures overall, surpassing our original target of 55,000.