Luke Pollard MP Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport
With the Government showing no sign of ordering a national advertising campaign, similar to the £46m spent on a Brexit readiness campaign for an exit day that was subsequently delayed, Labour has today called for creative and advertising agencies to mobilise to help in the fight against panic buying.
Supermarket shelves are being emptied faster than they can be replenished, and this is leading to vulnerable groups and frontline NHS staff being unable to buy food and supplies. There are particular concerns about difficulty in people buying baby milk, non-prescription medicines, and foods for people with allergies and special dietary requirements.
Luke Pollard MP, Shadow Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary, said:
“Panic buying is causing real harm to vulnerable groups and creating anxiety amongst all. We need people to shop sensibly and that is why Labour has been calling for a new national advertising campaign from the Government.
“Ministers have not reacted fast enough or far enough, and that is why Labour is calling for a mobilisation of advertising and PR agencies to create new TV adverts, newspaper, digital and billboard advertising to take on panic buying. Those who specialise in persuading us to buy products now have the opportunity to save lives with their work. Please step up and help. We need people to do the right thing at this time of national crisis: shop sensibly, stay at home and slow the spread of the virus.”
Tracy Brabin MP, Shadow Culture Secretary said:
“Britain has the very finest creative sector in the world. Many people in the creative arts and digital sectors want to help and put their skills to use. We need you now. While our frontline staff help those with Covid-19, we need Britain’s creatives to help the national effort and discourage panic buying and encourage people to stay at home.”
As the numbers of people confirmed with the virus continue to rise, Labour has today issued a ‘pitch’ to advertising agencies calling for a national mobilisation on a pro bono basis to design the campaigns that will help slow the spread and encourage people to stay home and shop sensibly. Staying a safe distance from other people and avoiding contact in public spaces are also measures which will stop the chains of transmission.
Labour is also asking those advertisers to divert their advertising budgets to support coronavirus messages at this time of national crisis.
Anyone wishing to share their creative designs should share their designs, freely and without copyright, but with attribution on social media using the hashtag #covid19advert #dontshoptillyoudrop