COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Save the Children focuses on MPs

Save the Children is targeting MPs through a newly established 6,000-strong network of campaigners as part of the second phase in its Beat Poverty campaign.

The campaigners were recruited in the first phase of the drive, launched in April this year.

Campaigners can send electronic versions of the charity's "prescription" postcard from the web site directly to their MP's email inbox.

Users of the site can also add their name to an online petition asking the Government to cut child poverty.

Internet lobbying company Advocacy Online is running the online action.

The second phase of the campaign was kicked off with a broadsheet advertising campaign last week in conjunction with design agency Catalyst. This is being bolstered by 500 billboard spaces donated by US advertising company Viacom across London rail and underground stations to run for at least four weeks.

The Beat Poverty campaign is lobbying world leaders to keep promises made in 2000 to tackle child poverty. The second phase of the campaign, which tied in with the launch of the UN's International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on 17 October, highlights the need for more investment in basic healthcare and education and ends in early spring.

Key facts that the charity is pushing are that 10 million children die every year from preventable diseases and 800 million have no access to any kind of health services. More than 110 million children, mainly girls, do not have access to primary education.

As part of what insiders call a 'phasing' campaign, the charity is working with other organisations to promote the campaign including Youth UK, a magazine for youth clubs.

Save the Children head of campaigns Barbara Crowther said: "We are taking a networking approach rather than putting a lot into national press advertising."

The charity has already distributed 1,500 youth education packs, including a video, to schools and youth groups. The Poverty: Who Pays? Pack is about young people's access to health and education in Ghana.

Save the Children shops and branches are also promoting the Beat Poverty campaign.

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