CAMPAIGNS: Pet owners slip the red tape collar - Broadcast PR

Client: E&L Insurance
Campaign: First passport pet in UK
PR Team: The Television Consultancy & (pr)+
Timescale: 25 - 28 February
Budget: Broadcast pounds 6,500; press pounds 1,400

Client: E&L Insurance

Campaign: First passport pet in UK

PR Team: The Television Consultancy & (pr)+

Timescale: 25 - 28 February

Budget: Broadcast pounds 6,500; press pounds 1,400

At midnight on Monday 28 February, the 100-year-old pet quarantine laws

were officially lifted in the UK. The race was on for the first pet to

step on UK soil from overseas without having to undergo six months in

quarantine. E&L Insurance, sponsored Frodo Baggins, the first pet to

enter the UK.


To raise E&L’s profile by making the media aware of Frodo Baggins’

imminent arrival as the first pet to enter the UK under the new

legislation. To increase sales of E&L’s new insurance policies for

travelling pets.

Strategy and Plan

The timescale for the campaign was very tight. E&L Travel Insurance had

responded to the change in legislation by drawing up a new insurance

policy to cover pets, so (pr)+ decided to use the media coverage of the

event as an oppotunity to promote the E&L brand. They commissioned The

Television Consultancy to handle the broadcast aspect of the campaign,

while they dealt with the press.

The Television Consultancy contacted national and regional broadcasters

to gauge interest and their TV requirements. (Pr)+ contacted national

and regional newspapers.

In addition to inviting broadcasters to attend Frodo’s arrival, film was

distributed by The Television Consultancy to those broadcasters unable

to attend.

E&L was advised on how to brand Frodo to ensure visual coverage for the

sponsor. A specially-branded waistcoat and an E&L luggage ticket for his

neck were created. It was also arranged that the owner’s car would be

first to disembark.

Throughout the weekend The Television Consultancy and (pr)+ spoke to the

media and reminded them that Frodo would be the first arrival.

By 9pm BBC News, ITN and Sky News had been persuaded to send crews to

film the arrival and The Television Consultancy had confirmed requests

for footage from GMTV, Channel 5 News, the Big Breakfast, London Today,

Newsroom South East and Meridian Kent.

As Frodo came off the ferry at 12.45am on Monday 28 February, the E&L

branding was in place and highly visible. An express courier was

standing by at Dover to take the coverage to London where a producer and

editor from The Television Consultancy could begin an immediate


By 3.45am the footage had been edited and duplicated for


By 4.15am all breakfast producers who had been unable to shoot their own

footage had received a copy for immediate use.

At 5.45am the footage was fed out to Meridian Kent and other regional

newsrooms for use on breakfast bulletins. Press photographers also

attended the event.

Measurement and Evaluation

The campaign resulted in over 40 items of national and regional TV


National broadcasters included Sky News and BBC News 24, and regional

newsrooms Meridian Kent and London Today ran pictures throughout the


Frodo also made the BBC’s one, six and nine o’clock news slots.

In addition to the news bulletins, interviews with Frodo’s owner Helen

De Borchgrave appeared on the BBC, Channel 5 and Sky News.

The story also ran in the national press, including the Daily Telegraph,

the Independent, the Times, and the Daily Mail. Regional papers also ran

the story.


As the first pet to arrive in England under the new quarantine laws,

Frodo dominated both TV and press coverage. All visual representation of

the dog featured the E&L Travel Insurance branding thus highlighting E&L

as an insurer that can cover travelling pets.

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