Case study: Keep Britain Tidy

The environmental charity made a return to the TV screen as it aims to encourage people to take pride in their areas

Keep Britain Tidy
Keep Britain Tidy

Keep Britain Tidy returned to the nation's screens in September with a 60-second advert between ITV's early evening regional and national news.

It was the first Keep Britain Tidy advert on terrestrial TV since the likes of Morecambe and Wise and Abba fronted campaigns in the 1970s and 1980s.

The advert was part of the ambitious 10-year Love Where You Live campaign, which aims to encourage people to take pride in their areas.

It shows people from different parts of England saying they want other people to follow their example and love where they live by taking pride in it and responsibility for it. It ends by encouraging people to get involved by visiting the campaign website

The campaign, which began in December last year, is led by the anti-litter charity but supported by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and private companies including McDonald's, Wrigley, Imperial Tobacco and Network Rail.

Louise Marsden, strategic communications manager at Keep Britain Tidy, says the TV adverts were worth £100,000 of airtime, but the campaign partners were able to secure discounted rates.

Press adverts in Trinity Mirror publications accompanied the TV adverts. "We ran them at local and regional level because it's a very local campaign," says Marsden.

Wigan-based Keep Britain Tidy, which has 120 staff, has run various anti-litter campaigns, but sustaining them hasn't been easy, says Marsden. It hopes the strong cross-sector partnership created for this one will enable it to run for 10 years.

Marsden says the campaign has so far spent about £750,000, including Defra funds. "This has been a trial year," she says. "We want this to be a huge campaign with more partners."

She also envisages more campaigns evolving on specific local issues within the campaign. Success, she says, depends on people 'owning' the campaign.

The charity aims to engage three million people and 3,000 organisations over the next three years. These are ambitious goals, particularly since long-term government funding isn't secure. The pressure to meet these goals, says Marsden, comes more from a desire to succeed than from outside.


Matt Wood, Creative director, Neo

Matt Wood, creative director, NeoRubbish, was my first thought. Litter that is, not the campaign. I'm a Brighton resident and litter is never far from my view, so this new social initiative from Keep Britain Tidy is both necessary and welcome.

The name is memorable and the updated, iconic Tidyman logo feels fresh. The website, while basic, offers a good range of information about the campaign and local events to get involved in, and the use of real people adds credibility.

Of course, the true measure of success will be the litter disappearing from our streets. So here comes the 'but'. The TV advert failed to engage me; the smiling faces and bouncy soundtrack are almost too friendly; the lack of urgency or a strong message left me uninspired.

I wouldn't say I love it, then, but I hope it's not consigned to the rubbish heap just yet.

Creativity: 3
Delivery: 3
Total: 6 out of 10

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