Legalised Child Abuse

…is about ideas. Ideas that make people think, make people smile, make people laugh, make people change the way they behave. It’s about creativity. Creativity in advertising and design. Creativity in the field of poetry, literature and screenplays. It’s about art. Sharing it, discovering it. Trying to understand it. It’s about getting things done. Not waiting for someone else to do it, or relying on someone else to get it done for you. As Mahatma Gandhi said: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I have over 25 years experience in the ad industry working for agency brands such as: DDB; TBWA; BBDO; O&M and McCann’s as a CD / AD / CW. I have won over 100 awards, including Cannes; D&AD; One Show; Campaign and Epica. For brands such as: VW; Audi; Carlsberg; Black & White Whisky, Smirnoff, Coors, Cadbury’s; Coca-Cola; Heinz; Peugeot; Nissan and Meteor to name a few.

I’m also a published writer, I was short listed for the Independent on Sunday Short Story Competition in 1997. My short story, “Woman’s Best Friend”, also appears in the IOS New Stories published by Bloomsbury.

My poetry has been widely published in Ireland, Britain and the US in anthologies and periodicals such as: The U.S. Literary Review, Envoi, Cyphers, Electric Acorn, W.P. Monthly, Lifelines 3, The Haiku Quarterly and The Amnesty International Anthology: Human Rights Have No Borders.

I am the author of six feature length screenplays, six short films, a collection of short stories, a poetry collection and my first novel which contains 85,000 words, some of which are in the correct order.

When I was CD at The Hub, we were working on a social marketing pitch, and completely unrelated to what we were working on, (as is often the case when trying to conceive ideas), one of my team came up with this idea.

No Smoking in my car?

It was designed by Graham Walker, a very talented chap indeed.

It takes the very familiar ‘No Entry’ traffic sign which has been adapted to take the form of a cigarette. The campaign line emanates from the end of the cigarette like a wisp of smoke.

In its present form it’s more of a ‘Don’t smoke in cars’ badge. But in the light of the present debate about smoking in cars with child occupants, I think it could easily be adapted to fit that.

Okay, we’ve all seen ideas that have used traffic sign posts. But as the great Tim Delaney once said to me: Tell me something I don’t know, or tell me something I do know in a completely different way.

Now, I haven’t seen this done before.

I’m an ex-smoker. And I’ve no problem with people smoking in the privacy of their own cars – civil liberties and all that. But what I do object to is people smoking in cars when children are inside. It’s tantamount to child abuse.

And it should be made illegal.

Being a parent, what galls me is when I see other parents smoking in cars with their kids in the back and the windows rolled up. You may as well dress them in monkey suits and put them in a lab with a packet of Bennies.

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