The Scottish Government exposes a 'Dirty Little Secret' in tongue-in-cheek littering campaign

The Scottish Government is holding a mirror up to the ‘Dirty Little Secret’ of littering with a new tongue-in-cheek campaign emphasising the personal consequences of dropping litter.

Created by Leith and produced by The Gate the campaign, which debuts tonight (Thursday 12 June) during the World Cup opener, focuses on both the shame and embarrassment of being caught littering and the newly-increased fixed penalty fine for littering. The campaign creative and media buying have been designed to have broad appeal, but has been developed with a target audience of 16-24 year olds, who are more likely to drop litter, in mind.

“96 per cent of Scots agree that littering is unacceptable, and yet we spend £53m of public money each year clearing litter up. There’s a disconnect between what we say and what we do when it comes to littering, which is why the campaign plays on the ‘fear factor’ of being caught in the act by someone you know. We’re doing it in a humorous way which is spot on for our audience. We hope the campaign will have real cut-through, and help normalise not littering amongst Scots,” commented head of greener marketing at the Scottish Government, Katherine Goodwin.

The marketing campaign forms part of a wider drive by the Scottish Government to reduce the volume of litter produced with the national litter strategy – Towards a Litter Free Scotland.

Richard Marsham, partner at Leith, said: “Research across Scotland demonstrates that although many young people have no compunction about dropping litter, in their hearts they know it’s wrong. They talked about waiting until no-one was watching before they dropped a crisp packet or ‘just leaving a drinks bottle on the bus seat’. The ‘Dirty Little Secret’ campaign shows that people do notice this covert behaviour – and worse still, the litterer might end up with a fine.”

The campaign will run until mid-August across TV, cinema, outdoor and online with above-the-line support from PR, social media, field marketing and partnerships activity. Two 30 second adverts will run on TV, VOD and in cinema with longer versions for online.

Stripe Communications is driving campaign awareness and media relations with Carat in charge of media planning and buying. Digital campaign activity is in the hands of Whitespace, including online content and the development of a Facebook ‘Wall of Shame’ site. Story is leading on partnerships and eCRM will be handled by Tangible.

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