Campaign: Second Opinion

James Wright, account director at Sinclair Mason, advises the National Blood Service on national campaigns.

As with many public information campaigns there is an ethical question here about how hard you can push an issue. In some quarters it was felt that this campaign had overstepped the mark, including, and not surprisingly, from the Salt Manufacturers' Association.

Yet it seems the comms team had done its homework on the likely response to the campaign and secured the moral high ground with third-party endorsement, which helped it to present a united front on the issue.

The campaign pushed at a door already ajar, because the health of the nation was already a highly topical issue with government and media. The hard-hitting facts set the scene and the case-study approach allowed people to identify with the story.

Coverage captured a wide spectrum of media and I was particularly impressed with the number of regional radio items.

However, it is not clear as to whether all the coverage gained by the campaign was 'on message'. Also, the FSA's strategy had the danger of inviting sensationalist headlines, as I found with a quick cuttings search.

Nonetheless, this will have all served to stimulate debate and has certainly heightened people's awareness of the danger of too much salt in their diet.

Creativity: 4

Delivery: 4


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