Third Sector Awards 2018: Communications Agency Campaign of the Year - Barley Communications for Borough Market: Leading the Way on Drinking Fountains

Third Sector Promotion Markel

Awarded to an agency that has helped to create a highly successful communications campaign for its client, or provided an exceptional level of support and advice

The fountains are used by 6,000 people a week
The fountains are used by 6,000 people a week

What was the aim of the campaign?

Water bottles represent 10 per cent of all litter in the River Thames and contribute to ocean pollution. Borough Market wanted to reduce bottled water consumption and encourage others to follow suit. The organisation planned to introduce drinking fountains at the market and phase out the sale of bottled water within six months. Barley’s objective was to encourage the use of drinking fountains as an alternative to single-use bottles and position Borough Market as a leading force in sustainability.

What did the agency do?

When Borough Market re-opened in July 2017 after an 11-day closure because of the terror attack, the leadership team was keen to get the fountains up and running. Barley decided to tap into growing media interest in the issue of single-use plastics and their impact on the environment. The agency developed supporting material to tell the wider story of Borough Market's sustainability credentials, provided the media with strong imagery to support the story and maximised reach through social media, establishing the #BoroughFountains hashtag.

The agency also worked with a designer to develop a visual identity for the fountains, used across posters, floor vinyls and reusable water bottles, and used information points around the market to encourage visitors to use the fountains. 

What did the campaign achieve?

The fountains are being used by an average of 6,000 people a week. Sales of bottled water fell by a third after the launch and have now been stopped. Borough Market has continually been cited as an example to follow in articles written since the launch. Subsequent announcements by the Mayor of London, the government, Network Rail and Water UK to introduce more public drinking fountains have referenced Borough Market's lead.


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