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UK Releases Slasher PSAs To Quell Knife Crimes

from the Guardian UK

Home Office enlists teenagers for £3m anti-knife adverts

Video ads such as the one above will be distributed on mobile phones and social networking sites. WARNING: CONTAINS EXTREMELY GRAPHIC IMAGES OF STAB WOUNDS. DO NOT CLICK PLAY IF YOU ARE ONE TO ABHOR THE GORE.

A £3m advertising campaign devised by teenagers to warn young people of the physical and emotional consequences of knife crime is to be launched today by the Home Office.

The campaign, which will run over the next three years, will feature national radio, website and mobile phone adverts as well as print and “viral ads” to be distributed via social networking sites such as Bebo and mobile phones.

The radio commercials feature teenagers talking about the emotional impact of a knife attack on their boyfriends and girlfriends while promotional postcards feature a thumbless hand, with the message: “If you carry a knife you’re more likely to get stabbed yourself.”

The campaign concept was devised by a group of young people who also scripted and recorded the radio adverts. The 18 teenagers from England and Wales took part in a creative summit in April to share ideas on how to make their peers think twice about carrying a blade.

One of those who took part, Khadijah Murchison, aged 18, from Bristol, said: “All the young people that went to the creative summit have been affected by knife crime, so to share our experiences and come up with ideas and adverts that will help reduce knife crime was great. Hopefully it will make a real difference.”

The creative summit followed discussions between the Home Office and 70 teenagers which aimed to gain an understanding of young people’s experience of knife crime and possession and what motivated them to carry a blade.

The ads are to be supplemented by a series aimed at mothers encouraging them to talk about knives with their children, and to offer them support.

Home Office minister Vernon Coaker said: “We know that many young people carry a knife because they are fearful and these adverts tell powerful stories about the dangers of going down that path. People have got to get the message that if they carry a knife there’s more chance of it being used against them.”

[ click to read full article at Guardian UK ]

Posted on May 30, 2008 by Editor

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