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National award for South West marketing firm for campaign tackling harassment against women

Bystander Intervention Campaign wins at UK Agency Awards

A campaign to help tackle harassment against women and girls in Exeter has won a major national award.

South West based marketing agency Program saw off competition from around the country at the UK Independent Agency Awards 2023 for their Bystander Intervention campaign for the Safer Exeter Partnership.

Encouraging people to intervene in a safe and skilful way in harassment situations, the campaign also promoted intervention training sessions at the University of Exeter, which were all booked out within days of the campaign going live. Designed and delivered by national bystander leadership programme experts Dr Rachel Fenton and Nate Eisenstadt, of Kindling Interventions,  extra sessions were arranged to cope with demand.

The campaign saw Program win Best Purpose Driven Campaign at a prestigious ceremony in Shoreditch, London.

Caroline Orr, Marketing Director at Program, said: “We are beyond delighted to have won the award for Best Purpose Driven Campaign at the Independent Agency Awards. As a largely female-led team working with positive impact brands, this cause was very close to our hearts. It’s really pleasing that the campaign’s success in supporting the Safer Exeter Partnerships’s vital work has been recognised at a national level.”

The two-month campaign featured practical advice to help people who see harassment happening intervene safely, delivered via eye-catching ads at gyms, bars, cinemas, bus stops and billboards across Exeter, along with television and radio interviews and social media. The campaign kicked off with a  projection stunt of the campaign creative on the side of the Topshop building in the city’s main shopping district, Princesshay.

The Safer Exeter Partnership is made up of organisations including Devon County Council, Exeter City Council, Devon and Cornwall Police, University of Exeter, Devon and Somerset Fire Service, Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and community groups, working together to tackle antisocial and criminal behaviour.

Peter Scargill, Director of Commercial, Residential & Campus Services at the University of Exeter and Chair of the Exeter Community Safety Partnership said: “I am delighted that the Program team have won this award for their exceptional campaign. It once again reflects the excellent collaborative working by all of the partner organisations within the Exeter Community Safety Partnership, and has made a hugely positive impact in helping to make our streets safer and benefit the city’s night time economy.”

The Independent Agency Awards shine a light on the disruptive work that happens in independent marketing and communications agencies in the UK, highlighting the power of creativity and talent to deliver impactful messaging.

Rachel Barden, Global Agency Development Lead for Tripadvisor, chaired the UK Judging Panel. She said:  “It was a fantastic campaign with an incredibly important objective of driving awareness of sexual harassment toward women in Exeter. It basically nailed it across all categories – a fantastic execution. What they did with the budget was incredibly impressive across each tactic they used and the results were fantastic.”

The evidence-based campaign was delivered in response to a recent study from UN Women, which found that in the UK, 71% of women have experienced sexual harassment in a public space.* Fenton and Eisenstadt consulted on the campaign content to ensure it aligned with best practices and delivered maximum impact to target audiences city-wide.

Program’s campaign, developed by a team led by Creative Director Chris Noble and Account Manager Leah Erdbrink, was up against Frank PR, Agency UK, Total Media, Amigo Partnership and BBD Perfect Storm for the award.

Based in Exeter and Bristol, Program is a creative marketing agency that specialises in working with UK positive impact brands, spanning the tech, transport, education and infrastructure sectors, including business organisations and governmental bodies.

Dan Pritchard, Program CEO, said: “I couldn’t be prouder of the hard work and dedication of the team. Effective partnerships are hard to achieve, but to develop and implement this campaign, which smashed its targets and had such a positive impact in a short space of time, is testament to the commitment of all the partners to make a real and lasting impact.”

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