Tickle to lead No Smoking Day in ban aftermath

The head of comms at animal welfare charity Blue Cross has quit to take the top role at the No Smoking Day campaign.

Dan Tickle becomes chief executive at the campaign, which is an independent charity funded by the Department of Health and health organisations. He starts next month after six years at Blue Cross.

A focus of his new role will be to look at extending the group’s work beyond the annual campaign day, which takes place every year on the second Wednesday in March and will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2008.

Tickle said a key priority for him would be to create communications activity that better targets the high proportion of smokers who are from socially excluded groups and are often hard to reach through traditional marketing and communications activity.

‘I’m particularly excited about the challenge of developing effective year-round communications strategies to target those socially excluded groups that are most likely to smoke,’ he said.

‘Our media strategy has to recognise and respond to the complex social factors that prevent successful attempts to quit. The days of the one-size-fits-all mass media campaign are over.’

Tickle’s appointment at the campaign is part of a significant ramping up of PR, which has already resulted in a number of new hires.

Earlier this year, Vishnee Sauntoo joined from the ­Human Fertilisation & ­Embryology Authority as campaigns manager.

Sauntoo said: ‘There has been a recognition within the organisation over the last year that we neede more ­expertise in PR, including media relations and public affairs.’

She added that the campaign group would also be looking at the effect of the recent smoking ban in public places across UK on giving up rates and the demographic of smokers.

Tickle has replaced Ben Youdan, who left in April to become director of anti-smoking group ASH in New Zealand.

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