This image was used on public poster sites and brought to readers attention in a post on Jan 19th 2007 Hooked ? .... or Horrified ?
Was the inage promoting ....
2. PETA / NSPCC / League Against Cruel Sports
3. A PG 12 Film
4. Sado - Masochist series on Channel 4
5. Help for Addicts on National Health Service
Readers were invited to choose which and to see if the image failed the The Advertising Standards Association (ASA) CAP Code - Rules
FEAR AND DISTRESS
9.1 No marketing communication should cause fear or distress without good reason. Marketers should not use shocking claims or images merely to attract attention.
Well Lord Patel did and complained to the ASA for the first time ever.
The good news is that this high profile and inordinately expensive ( £8mn ) anti smoking campaign from the NHS has been adjudicated and the posters have been banned - the first Government ad to be banned for 5 years.
Despite conceding that smoking is the UK’s single-biggest cause of preventable illness and early death in the UK, the ASA decided that the £7m ad campaign for the Department of Health’s anti-smoking campaign featuring graphic pictures of people with fish-hooks in their mouths were distressing and upsetting, especially for children.
The campaign triggered 774 complaints. The “Get Unhooked” campaign was created by Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy and ran across television, poster, national press and magazines, and online.More than 150 parents said that the posters had scared their kids, aged between two and 15 - the NHS claims that , "The posters were deliberately not placed near schools" - so were evidently aware of te potnetial to dstress children.
The associated TV ads were not banned but have had timing restrictions to avoid child viewers and the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC) had been aware of the potential to scare children. However, the ASA decided that despite the fact the TV ads and posters highlight the perils of smoking, they were likely to frighten and distress children.The ASA unsurprisingly "..noted that, although the posters had not been placed near schools, they had appeared in places where they could easily be seen by children." Complaints about the newspaper, magazine and internet ads were not upheld.
In attempting to evaluate the usefulnes of the campaign the NHS Provides the following figures -
Since the launch of the campaign, 83,606 smokers phoned the NHS Smoking Helpline, 545,564 had visited the gosmokefree website, 195,000 had had interactions (?) with the TV pages and 6,743 had made contact via SMS. No follow up figures are available. £8Mn (including production costs) well spent ?