Barnardo's uses gruesome images in anti-poverty ads

LONDON - The children's charity Barnardo's is tackling the issue of child poverty with a gruesome advertising campaign showing a newborn baby with a cockroach in its mouth.

The campaign, created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, uses the strapline "There are no silver spoons for children born into poverty". As well as the cockroach, other posters show a baby with a heroin-filled syringe in her mouth and a baby drinking a bottle of methylated spirit. A fourth execution reads: "If only every baby was born with a silver spoon".

The charity will officially launch the campaign today with the television star Michelle Collins. It has published a report saying that one in 3m children in the UK live in poverty and that these children have the odds stacked against them before they even leave the hospital. It says that they are more likely to grow up to be addicted to drugs and alcohol, to be perpetrators and victims of crime, and to become homeless.

Barnardo's is calling on the government to ensure that policies reach the most vulnerable and poorest children in the country and establish a minimum income for all those raising children to ensure that all children are lifted out of poverty.

Neera Sharma, principal policy officer at Barnardo's, said: "Poverty is the single biggest threat to a child's future. It is essential that poverty is tackled now if we are to affect future outcomes for children."

Barnardo's is no stranger to running controversial advertising campaigns, tackling issues such as the sexual abuse of children by using images of young boys and girls with aged faces, and another campaign that used the image of a baby preparing to inject itself with heroin.

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