DfES launches celebrity anti-bullying ads

The Government has drafted in a range of celebrities, including pop bands Busted and Scissor Sisters, Sharon Osbourne, Johnny Vegas, Rio Ferdinand and Vernon Kay to boost awareness of its anti-bullying campaign. This is the first time that the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) has used celebrities in ads tackling the issue.

The celebrities will promote a “blue band”, to be worn by children who oppose bullying in an effort to encourage recognition of the problem.

According to a department spokeswoman, the ads will target not only bullying victims but all those in the 13- to-19-year-old age group. Created in house, the campaign will use the strapline: “Make a stand, wear a band”.

DfES strategic marketing team leader Karen Smalley says: “We have developed a campaign that will take the glamour out of bullying and will be a rallying call to all those who witness the act. The celebrities in the ads will promote the blue band, which will help make it as recognisable as the pink ribbon symbol is for breast cancer awareness.”

The first burst of the campaign will begin on November 22, on BBC Radio 1. This will be followed by television ads, with various executions featuring celebrities reading poems about bullying.

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