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February, 2010:

Postcards from the edge of media

I’ve spent a large part of the last few weeks asking School Principals, PSHE teachers and youth workers what kind of images and language they consider acceptable in youth media.

We have recently seen some pretty challenging designs put forward by government and charities and it’s tempting to make snap judgements on displaying shocking images where they will be seen by young people.
Beat Bullying recently used a very graphic poster image of a teenager with a sewn-up mouth to show how bullying victims often suffer in silence and to guide them to their Cyber Mentors website.

Food for thought

The first year results of the National Diet and Nutrition Survey by the Food Standards Agency represent a bit of a curate’s egg. Whilst some areas show pleasing improvement, there is genuine cause for concern regarding others.

Saturated fat intakes in adults have reduced modestly to 12.8% of food energy, down from 13.3% in 2000/01. On average adults are eating 4.4 portions of fruit and vegetables daily – although with little more than a third of men and women meeting the five-a-day guideline, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

Targeting media to support PSHE

We are very pleased to see that the annual statistics just published by ONS that show teenage pregnancy is at its lowest rate for more than 20 years.

TenNine has supported the work of PSHE Coordinators and Youth Workers with teenage pregnancy posters and the distribution of complementary material many times in recent years.  We have facilitated national campaigns in schools and colleges by central government and delivered local government advertising.  Closely targeted media supporting the key mentoring work that teachers and youth workers provide delivers the right messages to young people where they spend most of their time.

Kellogg’s misdirected marketing

Strange to see Kellogg’s whipping up the wrath of UK parents by running their recent “Coco Pops” campaign with a copyline like “Ever thought of Coco Pops after school?”

What on Earth were they thinking? It was almost inevitable that there would be complaints.

Sure enough, following the lambasting they received, their 6 sheet campaign was taken down – but not in time to avoid the PR disaster of undermining their position as a National Partner for Change for Life

It’s a real shame, as they do a lot of good in the community that is perhaps less well known.

Old school advertising

Like many born just after the Second World War, I retain an irrational nostalgia for the austere 1950s that I would be hard pushed to explain.

Among my personal icons of the era, the Eagle comic fired my early imagination and its futuristic centre spreads papered the walls of my boyhood bedroom. Dan Dare, Harris Tweed and PC 49 still have a place in my consciousness 50 years after they first inspired me.

Soccer One and HBOS onside again

Halifax Bank of Scotland again chose to promote their Soccer One football programme for 2010 in schools using TenNine posters.

Scotland has undergone a massive schools rebuilding programme with many mergers and changes of management, and TenNine has expanded their recruitment of new member schools as well as extending their Youth Centres project into Scotland to keep their portfolio abreast of the changes.

Given the bad press banks have had over the last 18 months, this is an excellent way for them to underline the good work they do in developing youth sports.

Giving a voice to BeatBullying

This January we were very pleased to partner the charity BEATBULLYING as they launched an uncompromising advertising campaign in memory of school girl Megan Gillan, whose life was cut short on January 19th 2009 after facing continual bullying online and in school.

Megan’s family has fully endorsed the campaign with the hope that “no other family suffers the loss we have”.

The posters aim to illustrate how bullying affects young people’s state of mind, and highlights the help they can find at Cybermentors.org.uk

A big thank you to our 500 member schools and clubs that agreed to run it, ensuring the message went out to over 600,000 young people.

NHS Life Check – A Repeat Prescription!

We are delighted that the NHS was so pleased by the results of its Life Check campaign in June that it decided to re-book in September.

The poster campaign included all schools and youth clubs in specific English Primary Care Trust areas.

The Life Check website addresses anxieties & life questions facing young people.

It looks at issues of identity as well as attitudes to physical activity, healthy living, drugs and alcohol, smoking, sex and bullying.

The second booking is a real vote of confidence in our member clubs and schools and a great start to the new academic year.

Straight To The Point

TenNine and CYP distributed three hard-hitting designs aimed at highlighting the dangers of carrying a knife to 10 to 16 year-old girls and boys across Wales and England.

Part of the government’s “It doesn’t have to happen” campaign to reduce knife crime, the clings highlighted the repercussions of carrying a knife.  The designs showed knife carriers’ life chances going down the drain, and were displayed on tiles and mirrors near urinals and washbasins to accentuate the impression of dreams and ambitions draining away.

Bucking the trend

Alan Scurfield, MD of TenNine, presented our first cheque to Simon Antrobus, CEO of Clubs for Young People, (seen here with ex-England footballer Dennis Tueart) at the CYP Gala Dinner last year.

We have been generating additional income for schools for six years, and are very proud to have been able to extend our support to CYP and front line clubs in such a difficult economic climate.

In addition to the commissions participating clubs and schools can earn, many of our posters directly support their ethos and the invaluable role they play in young people’s lives.