M&C Saatchi's Myth Buster Dispels Unwanted Covid-19 'Facts'

Creative 135 Add to collection
Infotagion launched the initiative to encourage global citizens to rethink what they share and check their facts at infotagion.com
M&C Saatchi's Myth Buster Dispels Unwanted Covid-19 'Facts'

M&C Saatchi is launching ‘Find the Truth. Isolate the Lies’, a myth busting campaign that seeks to change the way people see the sharing of stories and ‘advice’ about coronavirus; reframing it from being something that ‘might be helpful’ to something which poses a serious threat to the health and wellbeing of their friends and families.

The campaign will also enable members of the public to check the facts by tagging dubious posts with #isolatethelies, a free service offered by Infotagion. Infotagion is a free-to-use, independent fact checking service, set up by Damian Collins MP, the ex-chair of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee; and Iconic Labs. The free service is managed by the founders of Iconic Labs, who are leading the direction, distribution and amplification of the campaign across traditional and social media.

The ads feature bold typography, seeking to liken misinformation around Covid-19 to an infectious disease. The lead headline ‘Misinformation is also a disease that kills’ will run alongside other messages including ‘False facts spread fast’, and ‘Lies are contagious too’.

False stories currently circulating on social platforms are being used at launch, but the campaign will confront new, emerging myths as they become problems in the future.

The launch myths include: 

  • 5G causes Covid-19
  • Ambulances are too busy to respond to 999 calls
  • The Royal London Hospital is stockpiling body bags

The creative will run through social channels and digital display, confronting the issue online where the spread of misinformation is most persistent. The campaign is designed to be supported entirely through earned media, with media owners, influencers and the public at large encouraged to share the ads. The work will launch first in the United Kingdom, where SKY has already made a commitment to donate space as has News UK across titles including The Sun, The Times and Talk Radio, followed swiftly by the United States and Canada.

The partnership between the three companies comes at a time when misinformation has emerged as a critical global issue. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general at WHO, recently articulated the scale of the challenge by saying: “we’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic,” and many of the major news sources, such as the BBC and The Guardian, are reporting on it as a critical threat to health. The United Nations itself has issued an open brief to the creative community asking for support in tackling misinformation surrounding Covid-19, the results of that contest will be announced at the end of April.

Damian Collins MP and founder, Infotagion, said: “Alongside the rise in news coverage around Covid- 19, we’ve seen an alarming increase in misinformation doing the rounds on the internet, causing harm to individuals who believe these messages. We created Infotagion to encourage fact checking, and our work with M&C Saatchi raises awareness of some of the most common myths circulating at the moment, exposing them for the lies they are.”

Liam Harrington, director of Iconic Labs, said: “We are delighted to be working with M&C Saatchi on this project. They have unprecedented experience which has taken Infotagion to the next level. This, matched with our expertise in digital and social, has allowed us to tailor relatable content to different demographics which will result in a successful, shareable campaign combating fake news, which is what Infotagion is aggressively doing.”

Tom Firth, managing director, M&C Saatchi, added: “We work on a number of public health initiatives, including creating campaigns for the NHS and PHE, and we have a vested interest in the health and wellbeing of the general public. We were stunned by the volume of misinformation and the speed at which it travels and wanted to do something to help people determine fact from fiction. If you’d like to support it and help to isolate the lies, please get in touch.”

The campaign, which goes live today, can be viewed and shared at @Infotagion on Instagram and Twitter. 


Sign up to our newsletters and stay up to date with the best work and breaking ad news from around the world.

Creative agency: M&C Saatchi 

Creatives

Senior Art Director: Tom Kennedy

Senior Designer: Alan Clarkson

Creative Director
: Mark Goodwin

Accounts

Managing Director: Tom Firth

Senior Account Manager
: Toby Moore

Producer

Senior Project Manager
: John Dutney

Infotagion
Damian Collins MP 

Iconic Labs, founders of Infotagion
M&C Saatchi London, 2 months ago