Focus: Campaign of the week - 'Drop litter and you will be collared'

Georgina Lock, georgina.lock@haynet.com

Keep Britain Tidy is targeting young adult litter louts in a cinema campaign showing at screens nationwide until the end of February.

Aimed at 18 to 24-year-olds, the advert comes with a '15' certificate and was recently launched by The League of Gentlemen's 'dole scum' hater, Pauline Campbell-Jones, played by Steve Pemberton, who is ready to whip litter louts into shape.

Set to Carry On-style music, the advert shows a young man dropping litter and then being lured into a house by what appears to be a sexy woman.

Once inside, he is collared by an old vamp who brings him to heel for his filthy habits.

He is forced into a PVC suit and led out onto the street, where he is laughed at by passers-by. The ad closes with the strapline "Don't be a Gimp - Keep Britain Tidy".

The advert cost the charity about £200,000, split between the costs production and media space. It will be seen by 3.6 million people in an age group particularly prone to dropping litter and was timed to coincide with January's cheaper advertising rates.

Millions of tonnes of rubbish are dropped by young adults each year, particularly at weekends and often outside kebab shops on the way home after pubs and clubs close.

Peter Gibson, media manager for Keep Britain Tidy, said research showed that the mix of humorous, bizarre, dark and sexual elements struck a chord with 18 to 24-year-olds.

With visits to the cinema usually being a shared experience, the organisation hopes that people will talk about the advert and see dropping litter as a stupid thing to do.

Gibson said: "In a world of daft pranks, we want littering to be that tumbleweed moment - the joke that falls flat on its face, creates silence and makes the perpetrator look like a prat.

"We have such a long way to go with this age group that just connecting with them will be a result. But the ultimate result is clean streets."

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