CAMPAIGNS: Service Launch - Eulogy drive for register of deceased

Client: The REaD Group

PR Team: Eulogy

Campaign: Launch of the Bereavement Register

Timescale: February 2000 - ongoing

Budget: pounds 30,000

The REaD Group, which specialises in 'suppression' technology, launched

the Bereavement Register after a year's research into the effects that

direct mail addressed to the deceased had on the bereaved families.


To encourage members of the public to register deceased family


To encourage companies to use the product to screen for deceased mail

recipients and remove them from their mailing lists.

Strategy and Plan

Eulogy developed a two-pronged strategy targeting national and, more

importantly, local media using a mix of business and consumer


REaD research had revealed that up to 8,000 direct mails addressed to

deceased people were going out every day, affecting around 2,000

families across the UK.

The monetary loss to the direct mail industry was a staggering pounds

30m a year, while their clients suffered the backlash of damaged

customer relations and brand reputation because of the emotional upset

these mails were causing.

The campaign needed to get across to businesses that they had a moral

responsibility to halt the problem.

Pick-up was ensured in local and regional media by translating these

findings into local and regional statistics and by appealing to local

newspapers' commitment to protecting the community. A number of local

case stories added weight to the story, giving real-life examples of

families that had been particularly upset by direct mails.

This created a domino effect when members of the public sent letters or

telephoned radio stations detailing their own experiences.

Measurement and Evaluation

Radio broadcasts covering national (You & Yours on Radio 4) and regional

BBC and commercial stations had a total reach of 12.1 million


Stories also ran in many of the national broadsheets including the

Independent on Sunday, The Sunday Times, The Times, the Financial Times,

and twice in The Daily Telegraph.

As the campaign rolled out during the course of the year, more than 40

regional hits were achieved, highlighting the message where register

pick-up was slow. Likewise, local authority and hospital care press, and

titles such as Funeral Director Monthly have continued to impact the

registration process.


In the first four months of the campaign the initial registration target

of 500,000 was exceeded by 200,000. A year later, 1.4 million deceased

people have been registered.

Some 700 direct marketing companies are now using the bereavement

register as their main source of identifying the deceased. However,

there is some way to go to quash the problem completely.

According to REaD managing director Mark Roy, too much direct mail is

still being sent out. 'Usage of the register is up every day,' he


'But we're only 40 per cent of the way. The industry must use it


Because, until the remaining 60 per cent register, we still see a

backlash in terms of perception of the industry.'

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