Don't misuse use our logo, warns Public Health England screening chief

Comms teams across government are being warned against using logos incorrectly, after a series of misuses of branding used to promote health screening programmes.

Don't use national branding for local resources without permission, PHE's screening chief has warned
Don't use national branding for local resources without permission, PHE's screening chief has warned

Both the NHS and Public Health England (PHE) logos are used in communications materials for the NHS Screening Programme.

Nick Johnstone-Waddell, public and professional information lead, PHE Screening, said: "This shows that while the national screening programmes are led and quality assured by PHE, they are provided and run by the NHS."

In addition, the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC), an independent government advisory body, has its own logo.

However, Johnstone-Waddell warned: "We know of a few examples where national branding has been used inappropriately on local resources."

He cited an example of the UK NSC logo being used alongside a number of commercial brands.

The health official commented: "Using the UK NSC logo next to those of commercial companies could imply that the UK NSC has preferred suppliers or is in partnership with them."

He said it is something that "muddies the waters in terms of the ownership of the resource and how it was developed" and added: "The bottom line is that it can cause a bit of a problem and we should all try to avoid it."

At another event, a visual from the screening campaign was used, "but some of the content of the day wasn’t in line with national screening policy."

Writing in a blog on the correct use of logos, posted on this month, Johnstone-Waddell remarked: "The biggest danger of using national branding on local resources or events is that it makes it look like the national body has endorsed, or co-produced, the resource or helped to organise the event.

This may not be the case. This can lead to a conflict of interest or the association of PHE with out of date or incorrect information which is at odds with national guidance."

He called on "everyone to follow some simple rules" which includes not using any national PHE or UK NSC logos without permission, and not using visual elements from national screening resources out of context.

If in doubt, people should contact the screening helpdesk or their local NHS Trust comms team if they have any questions about the use of national branding.

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