WORKSHOP: CASE STUDY - Keep Britain Tidy tries to cut the crap

ANNIE KELLY

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Background: Keep Britain Tidy has produced leaflets and backed local council initiatives to stop dog fouling since the early 90s. The charity decided to launch its first national campaign to raise awareness of the problem following a survey which found that 95 per cent of people were "absolutely disgusted

by the amount of dog faeces in public places.

Aims: The charity wanted to run a campaign that would actually change the behaviour of errant dog owners. It based the initiative on market research carried out with dog owners who admitted they let their dogs foul in public places, but who said they would change their behaviour if they were hit by strong messages reminding them of the consequences of their actions.

Keep Britain Tidy also wanted to highlight its work with central government to tighten up the law on dog fouling, and how local governments were planning to enforce the legislation more effectively and provide more dog bins.

How it worked: Advertising agency Lake Design created a series of graphic posters for the campaign. The posters were placed around popular dog-walking areas such as parks and open spaces and also in city centres.

It also recruited actor Ricky Tomlinson as a figurehead for the campaign and organised a photo call for the national tabloids. As part of the shoot, Tomlinson sat on a toilet in Clapham Common.

Local councils also helped to launch the campaign on a national scale.

The charity worked closely with Camden Council to slot into its Boulevard Project, a £20 million street clean-up programme.

Camden's support for the programme included hosting a launch and conducting a day's worth of radio interviews. Some councils also ran enforcement programmes to go alongside the poster campaign.

Keep Britain Tidy secured the backing of the National Canine Defence League and the support of retailer Pets at Home, which agreed to offer free plastic poop bags to its customers.

Results: Keep Britain Tidy recorded an average 40 per cent decrease in dog fouling in the green spaces close to where the ads were placed. The campaign also generated coverage in national and regional newspapers, as well as on Radio One and Channel 4's RI:SE breakfast show.

"The campaign worked because it was carefully researched and targeted.

We knew who we wanted to reach and how to reach them,

says Sue Neldon, marketing director at Keep Britain Tidy. "One of the biggest traps charities, councils and NGOs fall into is they try and use a one-size-fits-all approach and often this ends up connecting with no one. All our future campaigns will be based on a similar philosophy.

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