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June 1, 2008

Anti-knife crime initiative goes live to push message

A new campaign to cut knife crime, including graphic images of real injuries, was unveiled at the Barbican yesterday.

Instead of a cold press event with a lone spokesperson behind a lectern, the launch event included street dancing and rapping to create a buzz and ensure the message reached the right ears – youths.

Whilst the campaign has been overseen by Uproar, a communications agency specialising in youth marketing, the content of the posters and adverts, which use footage of real injuries and stabbings have been created by young people.

The posters and adverts were created during a weekend-long workshop attended by 13 to 18-year-old youths from knife-crime affected areas across the country.

“The whole event, including the content of the adverts, was masterminded by the young people working with us,” said Uproar’s Julian Davis. “They are at the heart of the whole campaign. The outcome was the event they wanted, that they knew would have the most effect. We chose an event of this scale because they felt it would have more impact than a press release and cold news conference.

“The Barbican was chosen because of its unique ethos, bridging the gaps between the community, the government and young people. We needed a venue that was not only professional and suitable from a logistics point of view, but creative, artistic and expressive.”

Attendees at the event included the Under Secretary of State, Vernon Coaker, as well as journalists from major news publications and broadcast channels.

“The event was obviously a huge success,” said Barbican head of corporate sales Anthony Hyde. “The press were all over the building yesterday, and news stories immediately started appearing on satellite and terrestrial channels – not to mention this morning’s papers. Using creative, live events is one of the most compelling ways to achieve press coverage and awareness of issues – something that this event has clearly demonstrated.”

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