NSPCC launches 'underwear rule' campaign

NSPCC has launched a campaign to help parents teach their children about the dangers of sexual abuse, in response to heightened concerns following the Jimmy Savile scandal.

The "underwear rule" campaign will air on local radio for three weeks through 30-second spots across 60 stations, including Global Radio’s Heart and Capital, as well as Bauer Media’s Magic.

There will also be digital display advertising running across Facebook, YouTube and Bounty for six weeks, and a special takeover of the official NSPCC page to support the campaign.

Netmums will promote the campaign on the Netmums blog and through the forums, with Siobhan Freegard, Netmum’s founder, acting as the spokeswoman.

The campaign was created in response to YouGov findings that showed many parents never spoke to their children about sexual abuse. It aims to teach parents the ‘underwear rule’, which draws on expert research to show parents how to talk to their child about sexual abuse in an easy to understand way.

NSPCC suggested that parents "talk 'PANTS" to their children, namely that:

  • Privates are private.
  • Always remember your body belongs to you
  • No means no
  • Talk about secrets that upset you
  • Speak up, someone can help

The online 30-second online ad, created by Inferno, starts with children trying to describe their private parts using childlike words and language. It ends by saying: "Whatever they call it, start talking to your child about which parts of their body are private", directing parents to find out about the underwear rule.

Ray Chan was the art director for the campaign, Simon Cenamor was the copywriter and Bare Films produced the video. Media planning and buying is by OMD UK and Razorfish.

Peter Wanless, the chief executive of the NSPCC, told Campaign, "I think this is quite a brave campaign from the NSPCC’s point of view, because a broad range of it came in response to what parents have been saying to us after all this media attention surrounding the Savile case. They were asking what should they be doing and what can they practically do to keep their children safe from sexual abuse.

"It is a responsibility parents want to undertake, but as we have found, it can be extremely difficult to talk to children about some things and talking to a child about sexual abuse is just about as difficult as it gets."

He added that the campaign was a first for the NSPCC as it gives parents practical advice when normally it focuses on simply raising awareness about sexual abuse.

Freegard said: "As parents, we need to find a way to make our kids aware of the danger without scaring them, and that's exactly why the NSPCC is promoting the ‘underwear rule’. It's clear, simple and easy for even young kids to understand. Think of it as a green cross code against sexual abuse."


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

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