Marian Rose is sitting on a knife’s edge. As head of marketing for
the NSPCC, she is overseeing the launch of what she believes is the
biggest campaign in UK charity history - it’s certainly one of the most
On Tuesday, the charity unveiled a programme called Full Stop. Its aim:
to end all cruelty to children within a generation. ’We want to bring a
definitive end to the problem of child abuse. It’ll mean putting
ourselves out of business,’ she says.
This objective is backed by a campaign created by Saatchi & Saatchi,
which has worked with the NSPCC for more than ten years. It replaces
’excuses’, an outdoor campaign that featured physically abused children
and typical excuses to hide abuse such as ’he tripped down the stairs’,
which was launched two years ago.
Full Stop has a pounds 3 million spend and targets all adults using TV
and posters. Rose says: ’Awareness campaigns are quite unusual in the
voluntary sector. Usually we focus on appeal advertising. The scale is
new, but we think the objectives are realistic. We have been working on
it for two years.
’We believe that as a society we should be changing the way we think of
children. The campaign relies on changing attitudes and we can’t do that
without mass communication.’
The campaign targets adults who come into contact with children. It aims
to prick the consciences of abusers and also to encourage people to look
out for abuse among the children they know.
While hinting at disturbing incidents of child abuse, the ad emphasises
how easy it is to look away, using children’s icons such as Action Man,
Alan Shearer and the Spice Girls, all covering their eyes.
Rose says: ’People find it (child abuse) very painful so they look away
and that makes them feel guilty. They get into a negative cycle.’ The
second phase of the advertising will advise people what to do to break
out of the cycle.
’We want people to be aware of their usual reaction, and to feel that
they can do something to help. People feel disempowered so we are saying
’you must get personally involved and together we can end this’,’ Rose
Rose is a devotee of the voluntary sector. She joined the NSPCC in
August 1996 from the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, where she
was head of marketing.
Working for a good cause is incentive enough for Rose: ’My goal is to
work for social change. I want to use my marketing expertise to improve
things. The joy of working for a cause like this is that it makes a
difference to people’s lives.’
The kind of drive it takes to launch a campaign with an objective as
ambitious as that of Full Stop should mean that Rose won’t have too much
trouble finding another job if she succeeds in putting herself out of
one at the NSPCC.