Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has used poignant home-video footage of child
road accident victims in a new Government initiative to reduce the
number of youngsters killed by speeding drivers.
In its first work as the Central Office of Information’s roster agency,
AMV has secured the co-operation of bereaved parents for a campaign that
hammers home the human cost of a fatal accident involving a child.
The Government is putting pounds 2 million behind a three-week TV and
radio campaign in an attempt to cut the 160 child pedestrian deaths a
year that are caused by motorists breaking the speed limit.
Three commercials - a 90-second film and two 40-second versions - broke
nationally on Tuesday. They contrast camcorder shots of children
enjoying themselves with sombre poems about death written by W. H.
Auden, Christina Rossetti and Walter de la Mare. These are read by the
actors, Michael Gambon and Juliet Stevenson.
The Government initiative follows research carried out by AMV among
1,000 adults that found speeding was regarded as no more serious an
offence than illegal parking or failing to buy a TV licence.
The parents of victims will also talk about their loss in a series of
AMV’s chief executive, Michael Baulk, said: ‘There’s a terrifying
dissonance between perception and reality. The fact is that the real
damage isn’t done by hooligans in stolen cars on motorways, but ordinary
The ads were written by David Hieatt and art directed by Rob Oliver.
Baulk said they were designed to overcome the problem of ‘gore fatigue’
by focusing on the grief caused by the death of a child.
Baulk commented: ‘Home videos are a powerful way to get the message