IPA Effectiveness Awards 2010: Silver Award - Tobacco Control

Title: A new approach to an old problem

Client: Department of Health

Entrants: Partners Andrews Aldridge, MCBD, MEC

Authors: Kate Waters, PAA; Andy Nairn, MCBD; Pete Kemp, MEC

Contributing authors: Ben Armistead, MCBD; Jonathan Buck, Pau Torres, Fuel; Andrew Black, Glenn Granger, DoH

Credited companies - Creative agency: MCBD; digital agencies: Agency Republic, Reading Room; DM agencies: PAA, Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw; integrated agency: EMO; PR agency: Blue Rubicon; partnership agency: Iris; client partner: COI

Media used: Ambient, couponing/leafleting, direct marketing, magazines, newspapers, online display, outdoor/poster, PR, radio, search, TV, viral/social media, website/microsite


The campaign directly stimulated more than three million quit attempts, raising payback by 54 per cent.


The Department of Health decided to take a novel approach to one of society's oldest ills. This is how it successfully engaged a new "routine and manual" audience - a group of more entrenched and addicted smokers. An improved two-pronged strategy was developed, focusing on the emotional harm to the smoker's family, and portraying the NHS as a supportive and non-judgemental environment which can help smokers quit more successfully. This halted an alarming decline in motivation and directly inspired more than three million quit attempts. A new channel strategy was devised, making greater use of direct-response techniques and community partnerships, and directing quitters towards NHS support services. Over two years, the CRM programme increased quitting success rates among participants by 57 per cent, the payback was increased by 54 per cent and the cost-per-quit was reduced by nearly a third.


Faced with a group of entrenched, hardcore smokers, this campaign used incredible insight, multiple channels and marketing techniques to successfully change public behaviour.

John Petter, managing director, BT Retail Consumer.