CAMPAIGNS: Zero tolerance for basket cases - Public Awareness

Every year Allied Bakeries loses 1.25 million bread baskets, costing the company around pounds 4.25 million. For the past three years there has been a basket recovery initiative, supported by a public freephone number to report illegal use of baskets. The company has now started a new system called ’Campaign Zero Tolerance’ to clamp down on theft and misuse of bread baskets.

Every year Allied Bakeries loses 1.25 million bread baskets,

costing the company around pounds 4.25 million. For the past three years

there has been a basket recovery initiative, supported by a public

freephone number to report illegal use of baskets. The company has now

started a new system called ’Campaign Zero Tolerance’ to clamp down on

theft and misuse of bread baskets.



Objectives



To reduce the incidence of basket theft and misuse. To gain ongoing

coverage for the initiative, including publicising the freephone

number.



Tactics



Leedex had certain messages to get across - that baskets marked Sunblest

are the property of Allied Bakeries and that their theft and misuse is

illegal, can have a negative impact on jobs and can be a threat to the

environment.



They wanted to target members of the public, Allied Bakeries staff and

customers and common misusers of bread baskets, such as market traders

and hotels. While it was vital to gain wide press coverage, they also

had to do an internal campaign, to encourage vigilance by Allied

Bakeries staff.



To create a news hook and let the public know that theft and misuse of

bread baskets is illegal, it was decided that a ’Basket Amnesty’ would

be introduced, allowing the public to return baskets without fear of

prosecution and getting across the message that misuse is illegal. The

amnesty did not apply to any pending cases.



For the launch of the amnesty a photocall was arranged and a press

release sent to the national media. Allied Bakeries provided information

about ’hot-spot’ areas across the country where theft was rife so Leedex

was able to offer tailored press releases to the regional media to

interest them in the story.



In order to target those industries which are notorious for misusing the

baskets, specialist press releases were sent to trade publications for

hotel and catering, the removals industry and local authority press,

using details of the odd uses of bread baskets and focusing on the cost

to the company. Memos were produced and circulated to Allied Bakeries

staff to inform them about the campaign. A follow-up press release is

planned, along with another photocall,once the full results of the

amnesty are known.



Results



The amnesty was widely covered in the media with the story being picked

up by the Times and the Daily Mail. The area-by-area breakdown

information was well received, with many of the regional papers covering

the launch.



It was also featured on Radio 5 and GMTV. Some regional papers have

already contacted Leedex for results of the amnesty.



To date, nearly pounds 200,000 worth of baskets have been recovered

using information from the public.



Verdict



Allied Bakeries’ bread basket problem initially seems trivial, but costs

a lot of money every year. The amnesty was an excellent way of launching

the initiative, allowing the humorous side of the story to be covered

while highlighting the serious impact.



The campaign was clearly an effective way getting the message across to

the public - the evidence of its success demonstrated by the number of

baskets recovered as a result.



Client: Allied Bakeries

PR Team: Leedex Public Relations

Campaign: Allied Bakeries Basket Recovery Initiative

Timescale: February to March 1998

Budget: pounds 5,000



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