Profero produces warning of online dangers to children

LONDON - Profero has created an online campaign for the Home Office to warn teenagers about the dangers of paedophiles who use chatrooms to identify their victims.

Aimed at children between the ages of 11 and 15, the creative features a "gang" of characters -- some of whom were introduced in previous campaigns -- who talk to each other, using real-life case studies to show the sort of tactics paedophiles use.

The campaign uses overlays, skyscrapers and banner ads to warn children against giving out their contact details online. One shows a character trying to dupe children into meeting up by arranging a test photo shoot for a modelling contract.

In another, the character professes undying love in order to persuade someone to meet up, while a third offers advice to parents on how to

keep their children safe.

Characters have also been programmed to react to triggers in chatrooms and on messenger services and to appear with a warning if anyone on the site asks for another's personal contact details. New characters have been created especially for for this campaign, including a gothic/vamp girl called Dita.

The creative was art directed by Paul Beacham and written by Profero's creative communications director, Chris Baylis. The campaign launches next week across chatrooms and teen portals including MyKindaPlace, Habbohotel, Lycos Chat and Dubit. Media planning and buying is through i-level.

Jane Clarke, a Home Office publicity manager, said the campaign was prompted by "research that [showed] we needed to give children reasons to not give out their details to people online".

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