Public Sector: Campaign breakdown - Free speech

Agency: The Forster Company
Client: Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS)
Timescale: September 2008 - May 2009
Budget: Undisclosed

THE LOWDOWN

DIUS has appointed Forster to handle a campaign to promote the idea that freedom of speech is welcomed in places such as university campuses, particularly on controversial subjects such as terrorism.

WHY IS THE GOVERNMENT DOING THIS NOW?

Coverage of religious extremism on university campuses has been in the news for some time, but the Government is keen to point out that this campaign is part of a wider strategy to encourage the idea of freedom of speech. Forster marketing manager Gillian Daines said: 'There's a perception that the Government has a heavy-handed approach to not letting people talk about certain issues.'

WHO IS BEING TARGETED?

Primarily students, but also journalists and academics and the general public.

THE TACTICS

Half of the campaign will be conducted online. Forster will build a website for DIUS that will link with any university websites and student magazine sites, plus any religious group sites, particularly Muslims. The campaign will be launched with a roadshow around the country's university campuses.

ANY POTENTIAL PITFALLS?

Daines said: 'We do not want it to be perceived as paying lip service to the idea of freedom. There are also challenges around letting people say what they want. If you are using an online tool, do you want to edit it? It is a tricky one in that respect. To a certain extent we will not know how that will work until it launches.'

FIVE A DAY

Department of Health PROs received a flurry of media enquiries after marketing group TNS revealed that only 12 per cent of Britons were meeting the 'five a day' target for fruit and veg. Freud Communications is promoting the department's anti-obesity campaign.

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