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Office for National Statistics Appoints M&C Saatchi for Once-in-a-Decade Census Brief



ONS selects creative agency as it readies first major post-coronavirus national participation programme

Office for National Statistics Appoints M&C Saatchi for Once-in-a-Decade Census Brief

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has appointed M&C Saatchi as its agency partner for Census 2021 communications, following a three-way competitive pitch.

The once-in-a-decade engagement will see the creative agency partner with the ONS to develop a fully integrated programme of communications with the objective of mobilising more than 26 million households in England and Wales, in order to ensure completion of the census in March 2021. The brief includes advertising, PR, digital, partnerships, and community and schools programmes. 

In what will be the first major communications programme of its kind following the coronavirus outbreak, M&C Saatchi will work with the ONS to develop an inclusive campaign with broad appeal to drive uptake of the census across the entire population, including key population groups, with a particular focus on encouraging high digital completion rates. For the first time, the ONS is seeking to achieve more digital than postal completions.

As part of the engagement, M&C Saatchi is tasked with helping people to understand the relevance and importance of the census, and to recognise the power of data and statistics to improve lives, particularly in light of the recent Covid-19 outbreak. 

The census plays a vital role in shaping policy and decision-making; underpinning local decisions on provision of education, housing and healthcare; and providing accurate national and local information on the diversity of the population. It also ensures that population estimates are as accurate as possible.

The first activity to launch as part of the partnership will be secondary schools partnerships, delivered in collaboration with M&C Saatchi World Services and EVERFI EdComs; and community engagement initiatives, which will be rolled out this autumn. These will be followed by a major advertising push launching in Q1 2021, ahead of the census in March.

Tom Firth, managing director, M&C Saatchi, said: “The census is a truly national event. Once every ten years, it’s a chance for our communities to be represented, which will have heightened importance next year in a post Covid-19 world. To be part of such a critical moment is a privilege, and we are excited to get everyone involved in this complex creative communications challenge.”


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M&C Saatchi London, Tue, 18 Aug 2020 07:58:54 GMT