The Home Office is preparing to launch a nationwide communications strategy on gun crime, in what will be seen as the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s first attempt to demonstrate to the public how the Government is tackling the issue.
The launch follows the ≠creation of the Tackling Gangs Action Programme, announced in September by Smith, which has a particular focus on reducing the use of firearms by youths as part of gang-related activity.
It is understood an advertising brief is being put together, and will target London, Liverpool, the West Midlands and Greater Manchester – the four major areas where more than half of all gun crime is committed. The Government is also keen to use the campaign to target teenagers and halt the rising tide of knife attacks.
A spokesman for the Home Office says: “We are still considering the best use of communications regarding this issue, and we are not yet in a position to talk about finalised campaigns or communications.”
Insiders say the communications brief is still being discussed with advertising agencies, as the Home Office would like to emulate the success Metropolitan Police advertising campaigns have had as part of the Trident campaign.
The Trident campaign, created by Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, most famously used a video-style creative, called Knife City, to appeal to hard-to-reach teenagers. The video used imagery in the style of a computer game, and tried to ram home the point that carrying knives can destroy lives (MW December 8, 2005).
It is thought the advertising brief for the high-profile Home Office campaign will not go through COI.