TBWA to pay for public to air grumbles

TBWA is launching a scheme enabling members of the public to air their grievances through a full-page ad in a national paper – free of charge.

Chief executive Alasdair Ritchie says the ads will appear once a month. Creative work will be provided by TBWA and media space by the papers.

Ritchie says: “People need to have a medium where they feel they are being heard. For example, if someone’s father died because there were not enough hospital beds that person could have a full-page ad saying what happened. But it is not meant to be political. It is more a cri de coeur.”

Ritchie has had discussions with a number of papers and says the response has been positive.

“The only concern they have at the moment is that the ad might look like a piece of editorial,” he says.

If the scheme gets off the ground, TBWA creative director Trevor Beattie – who recently created a controversial anti-rape campaign – will have sole responsibility for producing the ads.

Ritchie says that each month the deserving cause will be chosen by a jury made up of representatives from TBWA and the newspaper concerned.

The scheme is expected to be launched in September.

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