Creative agency BMB is behind a hard-hitting new integrated campaign created on behalf of ClientEarth in response to the government’s new Air Quality Plan, which the charity calls ‘seriously inadequate’.
The environmental law charity has revealed that the government’s failure to deal with the UK’s air quality crisis means that more than 950 schools are next to, or near roads which still suffer from harmful levels of illegal pollution. This shocking statistic is based on the government’s latest data, released in the last few weeks. A YouGov survey for ClientEarth also highlights that three out of four parents in Britain want extra measures to protect pupils whose schools are in illegally polluted areas.
The Poisoned Playgrounds campaign which was created in conjunction with two London primary schools launched on Monday. A search tool enables parents to see whether their child’s school is near an illegally polluted road by entering their postcode on the website www.poisonedplaygrounds.co.uk
. Supporters of the campaign are being urged to put pressure on the government via their MPs.
As part of the Poisoned Playgrounds campaign, a powerful video featuring young children from two schools has been released online. Out-of-Home creative is also going up this week in the eight most polluted cities in the UK, with the number of schools in each area situated near illegally polluted roads highlighted.
Creative duo Harry Boothman and Jenny Piggott came to the idea for the campaign after Harry noticed the high levels of pollution during his runs home from work down Brixton Road. On searching online, they found that the road had breached annual air pollution levels in five days. They resolved to find a way to make a difference and came up with the original idea for Poisoned Playgrounds.
Harry Boothman said: “Everybody deserves the right to clean air and it’s an issue which has been too low down the agenda for too long. The statistics are quite frightening and it’s time that we wake up to the reality of the situation before it is beyond our control.”
ClientEarth’s Director of Communications, Tim Reid said: “The campaign BMB has created for us is immensely powerful and will help to raise awareness of a problem which all schools and parents need to be aware of, and which the government needs to urgently tackle.
While our successful court action against the UK Government has helped to raise awareness of illegal air quality across Britain, this campaign focuses on one very important impact of pollution. We need to do more to protect young lungs from unhealthy air.”
Katie Horwood, Head Teacher at Chestnuts Primary, said: “We were delighted to get involved in this important and powerful campaign and our pupils had great fun making the video, albeit to highlight a very serious problem.
The school and many parents realise the dangers of air pollution and we’d like to see much swifter action to tackle it.
All our pupils should be able to breathe healthy air when they are outside, but like many schools we have busy roads nearby and there seems to be a collective failure of those in power to take action to protect young people’s lives and lungs. Hopefully this campaign will help to achieve that and to raise awareness.”
The film was directed and edited by Good Boy Wolf with the stills photography for the Out-of-Home shot by THIS IS DODD.