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Creative Creative Works Uncommon

Uncommon’s provocative billboards expose UK’s escalating sewage crisis


By Amy Houston, Senior Reporter

July 4, 2024 | 3 min read

As voters go to the polls today for the general election, the ad agency is urging people to consider environmental issues.

Vote Clean Seas billboard

Uncommon draws attention to government policies on UK water pollution / Uncommon

Last year, water companies’ sewage spills into UK rivers and seas more than doubled, with the Environment Agency reporting a staggering 3.6m hours of spills compared with 1.75m hours in 2022.

In response, Uncommon Creative Studio has launched a striking visual campaign ahead of the UK’s general election today. Designed to resemble a traditional seaside postcard, the image features a figure in a hazmat suit planting an environmental testing flag atop a child’s sandcastle.

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This powerful depiction underscores how the increase in raw sewage dumping has turned once-safe beaches into hazardous areas, highlighting the urgent need for action on this environmental crisis.

The visual campaign is being displayed across the UK in various outdoor locations, particularly in coastal areas such as Brighton, Margate and Cornwall, where water quality issues are most acute.

Some of these outdoor sites are strategically placed in regions where local MPs have voted to allow water companies to continue dumping raw sewage into nearby waters, including Suffolk, Newquay and North Thanet in Margate.

In addition to this project, Uncommon recently launched another politically charged billboard in response to Rishi Sunak’s D-Day disaster. The powerful message simply reads, “He left them on the beaches. Lest we forget, come July 4.”

The Drum interviewed Ben Golik, the creative force behind the project, about his insights and the decision to run it for real this week.

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