IPA Effectiveness Awards 2004: Silver Award - Best Small Budget - Safer Travel At Night


Campaign: Safer Travel At Night

Client: Transport for London and Greater London Authority - Mayor's


Agency: TBWA\London

Principal author: Emily James, TBWA\London

With contributions from: Suzie Shaw, TBWA\London; Anni Marjoram, Greater

London Authority; Harry Barlow, Greater London Authority

Media used: TV, print, cinema, outdoor, ambient


This is a refreshing case of advertising truly serving to change people's lives for the better. But the people it has helped don't even know it, because this campaign was about crime prevention.

There are an estimated 10,000 illegal mini-cabs or "touts" in London.

Hiding among this group are an unknown number of serial rapists and opportunist sex attackers looking for an easy way to lure vulnerable women into their cars. In the year to October 2002, more than 200 rapes and sexual assaults on women were committed by illegal minicab touts.

The "Know what you're getting into?" campaign helped change women's attitudes and, more importantly, behaviour in late-night situations. It was the catalyst within the broader Safer Travel at Night initiative, preventing up to 85 mini-cab-related rapes and sexual assaults. While the true impact of this campaign is hard to measure, the financial saving to public services alone exceeded £11 million.

The judges' view

This sensitively written case shows how an insightful approach led to a 22 per cent reduction in rapes in London, with 85 fewer attacks taking place. By advising girls to "know what they were getting into" when using mini-cabs at night, the ads succeeded in changing their attitudes and behaviour towards mini-cabs. These behavioural shifts took place at a time when people are at their least rational - after a night out, when they want to get home.

The idea extended beyond conventional media into "point of prey" media such as clubs and bars. This case shows that even on a small budget it is possible to measure effects thoroughly, and for this reason was awarded Best Small Budget.

Become a member of Campaign

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk, plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events.

Become a member

What is Campaign AI?

Our new premium service offering bespoke monitoring reports for your company.

Find out more

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content