Creative impulse

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The Independent Online
The Construction Industry Training Board is seeking to draw attention to accidents suffered by Britain's construction workers by using graphic images of injuries they have sustained. The copy explains that the construction industry accounts for a quarter of all deaths at work, and that more than 2,000 serious injuries are reported each year. The agency, Momentum (part of the Abbott Mead Vickers group), has worked on similarly shocking campaigns for the RSPCA. Jerry Lloyd, head of marketing at the CITB, is the RSPCA's former campaign director.

The client: Construction Industry Training Board

Jerry Lloyd, head of communications and marketing

The CITB has never done anything like this before, but it recently got a huge increase in its advertising budget and is now anxious to be "seen". This campaign constitutes our toe in the water. At the moment it's trade press-oriented, but we will be moving into national and consumer titles.

The aim is threefold: to get employers to look at safety standards in the workplace, to encourage companies to get hold of our training materials to educate their workforce, and to establish the CITB as the authoritative voice of the construction industry. The ads are intended to be hard-hitting, to give people a jolt, and we're expecting them to generate a degree of controversy.

The agency: Momentum Integrated Communications

Mark Springall, group account director

We wanted to shock people into seeing how serious a subject this is. It concerns everybody in the industry, from senior employers to the most junior employees: employers are liable for huge fines, or can go to jail, while employees can lose limbs or even their lives. We needed, then, to target both ends of the employment spectrum.

The images are indeed distressing, and show shocking things, but that is the reality of it - the reality if you ignore health and safety procedures, that is. One of them, for example, features a man with an artificial arm (pictured left), and has the strapline, "My firm thought safety precautions were too expensive. So I'm suing them for pounds 250,000." What this is saying is that you can't afford not to be aware of the hazards.

It may be surprising that this kind of material is being issued by an employer-led organisation, but it is a case of reputable employers wanting to make the cowboys aware of the penalties of not observing safety regulations - to guard the reputation of the industry as a whole. It's a tough campaign, but it's tough because it has to be.

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