Research Awards 2004: Government, public services & social research


Client: Home Office

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather


Client: ENCAMS

Agency: In-house


Client: Scottish Executive

Agency: TNS

WINNER The COI had the difficult and sensitive task of communicating to teenagers the dangers of predatory paedophiles in online chat rooms, while also attempting to improve child protection on the internet.

The ultimate business challenge was to develop a campaign that would force teens to appreciate the risk and adjust their behaviour accordingly.

To achieve this goal, the COI and Ogilvy & Mather conducted strategic research to better understand the mindset of teenage internet users and the sensitivity of the subject.

While qualitative research with teenagers informed the brief and enabled the COI to define a precise role for advertising, field research, which included a visit to a paedophile rehabilitation centre, provided the ammunition to communicate in a way that would make teenagers sit up and listen.

Despite budget limitations, the research-driven campaign prompted a significant rise in the spontaneous recall by children of COI straplines, including 'don't talk to strangers on the internet'.

It also brought a continued decrease in the proportion willing to give out personal details such as their email address in chat rooms.

The campaign was so successful that the Home Office decided to rerun it in 2002-03 as well as producing fresh material for 2004.


The Scottish Executive embraced research in reversing a decline in recruitment for the Children's Hearings system in Scotland.

It recognised that research would play an important role in developing fresh ideas and identified several aspects of the system which many members of the public were either oblivious to or mistaken about.

By rectifying this, using a budget of less than £12,000, the Scottish Executive attracted 4133 applicants to the Children's Hearings panel in 2002. This was an increase of more than 3000 on the number of applicants 2001.


ENCAMS, the charity which runs the Keep Britain Tidy initiative, used research strategies to segment the public by behaviour and attitudes towards littering.

With a budget of £65,000, ENCAMS initially separated the public into sub-segments before looking to understand key barriers to behavioural change and potential triggers that would overcome these obstacles.

As a result of the strategy, the charity brought about a 27% national decrease in incidences of dog-fouling within one of these segments.


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