Ogilvy and Mather a safe pair of hands for Environmental Protection Authority

Ogilvy and Mather has won what it says is a significant piece of work to create a hazardous substances public awareness campaign for the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

The multi-channel campaign, set to launch at the end of the month, will target a broad audience with a message that has an element of challenge to deliver.

“Hazardous substances are used by lots of people in New Zealand every day. it’s about raising awareness of how to handle hazardous substances,” says Ogilvy executive director Paul Manning. “A lot of these products are a part of people’s everyday lives and may not be considered hazardous to people. Now we are trying to make people aware of a potential hazard that’s right under their nose every day. Some of the potential effects may take years to develop.”

Among these hazardous substances are paint, commercial cleaning products, acids, adhesives and solvents, and potential health effects include fertility problems, cancer and even death. Some of the campaign’s key messages are to always wear safety gear, always read the label and always store with care.

It will initially target staff and employers at around 150,000 small and medium workplaces, then broaden its scope, says Manning. It won’t initially use TV, but will include radio, print, digital, PR and will have a direct component.

The EPA relationship is new for the agency and Manning says it’s an endorsement of the work it’s been doing in Wellington, especially with the likes of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.

Other than raising awareness about health risks associated with exposure to hazardous substances, the campaign will tackle the Kiwi ‘she’ll be right’ attitude towards not wearing personal protective equipment, and encourage people to read labels on hazardous substances and using the product as directed.

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