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“A diet of fag butts and crisp packets”

Matthew Chatfield
Latest posts by Matthew Chatfield (see all)

Full marks to campaigning group ENCAMS for the most imaginative approach to anti-litter (and anti dog fouling) campaigning. A whole load of ENCAMS publicity has been doing the rounds in The Ranger’s office – it’s funny, clever and the sort of thing people want to read and pass around. Viral marketing, even. What a far cry from the kind of nannyish lecturing style that most anti-litter messages (all those accusatory signs and admonitions) seem to take. Check out this poster, available free from ENCAMS:

ENCAMS poster: Ted

Now The Ranger is not going to quote the headline shown, for fear of upsetting work filters, although he’s mindful that “fag butts” might prove difficult to translate for some overseas readers. And sadly, as the poster is A2 in size, he can’t scan it in for you. The image above is the thumbnail from the ENCAMS website. But here’s a transcript of the hilarious and clever text:

“My c*** is huge… since I stopped dropping rubbish” Ted was imfamous for dropping rubbish. And every year, when he showed his c*** at the agricultural show, he would be laughed out of the arena. The problem was that a poor diet of Ted’s discarded fag butts and empty crisp packets was doing nothing for his c***s appearance. It was small, weedy and his feathers lacked lustre. Once Ted realised the error of his ways and started putting his rubbish in a bin, his c*** grew to an enormous size and picked up first prize the next time it was shown in public.

What a cunning take on an old problem. ENCAMS, responsible for over 50 years for the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ campaign, have done a lot of research into just what young people think about dropping rubbish. This series of posters is very carefully designed to make the maximum impact. If you surf the ENCAMS site you can actually read some of the results of their research, which give a rare insight into the methods and techniques of marketeers. For example, ENCAMS discovered that if you call it ‘litter’, young people simply don’t pay any attention. ‘Litter’ is an adult, telling-off sort of word. Young people themselves call it ‘rubbish’. So ENCAMS do the same. Cunning, huh? There are a few more of these splendid posters, including some about dog fouling. The Ranger will try to bring you some further examples in the future.

Matthew Chatfield

Uncooperative crusty. Unofficial Isle of Wight cultural ambassador. Conservation, countryside and the environment, with extra stuff about spiders.

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