Having previously worked with the Department of Health for several years to set up their ‘Together’ CRM programme for smoking cessation, I read with interest the controversy surrounding the recent ATL campaign.
The latest campaign adopts a hard hitting approach by dramatising the impact smoking has on one’s children. The insight is certainly sound. Giving up smoking for the sake of your children can certainly be a key motivating factor. And knowing what the COI are like, I’m sure this was validated in consumer research before going on air.
However, despite their best intentions, no one appears to have considered what impact this campaign may have on impressionable children, which is odd considering how prominent they feature in the creative strategy. If only they’d thought of including their secondary audience in the research instead of just focusing on the smoker, they may well have averted such controversy.
Perhaps there’s a lesson there for all of us.