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Creative Creative Works Ad of the Day

Ad of the Day: South Western Railway highlights staff abuse in shocking OOH push


By Amy Houston, Senior Reporter

March 5, 2024 | 3 min read

Devised by indie agency St Luke’s, the campaign hopes to reiterate that comments can stay with people and affect their mental health.

An OOH ad with an abusive message on it

SWR ad campaign / St Luke's

South Western Railway (SWR) has launched an out-of-home campaign highlighting some of the verbal abuse its workers have been subjected to by agitated customers.

Titled ‘Abuse Stays With Our Staff,’ the shocking images will run on all owned poster sites across the SWR network in the south and south-west of England from March 4.

St Luke’s brief was to encourage non-abusive behavior towards SWR colleagues and, in doing so, alleviate the long-term impact insulting words have on them. It followed research into the experiences of SWR colleagues, where workers shared stories of the abuse they had received and how it has affected them and their lives.

Each poster captures moments of everyday life, like making a cup of tea, preparing soup, taking a shower and returning home from work and features abusive phrases such as “you absolute moron,” “you dumb cow” and “you stupid old fool.”

Richard Denney, joint chief creative officer at St Luke’s, said: “People travel by train for a variety of reasons and sometimes when they are feeling stressed or are wrapped up in their own problems, they don’t always realize that what for them is a throwaway comment said in a moment of frustration can really hurt someone. The aim of this campaign is to make people stop and think about how their words can affect others.”

Shower gel with abusive message
A kettle on an OOH poster
Tin of soup
Creative Creative Works Ad of the Day

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