Media Awards 2010: Best Public Sector and Charities Campaign

Title: Smokefree Generation
Duration period: 14 September 2009-ongoing
Media agency: MEC
Media director: Chetan Murthy
Account director/media planner: n/s
Creative agency: MCBD
Creative director: n/s
Account director: Rachel Gilmour
Account planner: Andy Nairn
Client: Department of Health
Brand/product: Smokefree
Marketing director: Paul Brewer
Media/brand manager: Helen Duggan

There is still a hardcore of people, especially blue-collar workers, who have become adept at filtering out "quit smoking" messages.

MEC, along with the Department of Health's creative agency, MCBD, were charged with targeting this group and getting them to think about stopping smoking. Research found that making smokers aware of how their habit affects their children was a powerful motivator, and a group of real children was recruited to tell their parents, and other children's' parents, how they felt about them smoking.

Unscripted ads featured children talking directly to their parents during shows such as Coronation Street and Emmerdale. The idea was carried through to radio, and also in press and ambient media such as beermats and sandwich bags.

A total of 55 per cent of smokers said the campaign was likely to make them stop smoking and a record number of calls have been received by the NHS Smoking Helpline following the push.