NSPCC launches 'Underwear Rule' digital and radio campaign to help parents via Inferno

Pants-1.jpgThe NSPCC is today launching a six week digital and radio campaign, 'Underwear Rule', crafted by independent advertising agency Inferno, with media planned and bought by OMD UK, launches today, to help parents protect their children from sexual abuse. 

'Underwear Rule' is advice and a call to action for parents, to help teach their children that their bodies are private, that builds on an idea that came from the universal truth that all children and parents have nicknames for private parts.
It comes as a new online YouGov poll shows half the parents of 5-17-year-olds who took part in the survey have never spoken to their sons or daughters about the issue.  And of those who have more than two in five (43%) said it was a difficult conversation. Just over one in ten (11%) UK adults surveyed said primary school children faced the biggest risk of sexual abuse from someone they don't know with half (51%) listing 'stranger danger' an area of concern for children of this age. However, previous NSPCC research has shown that in at least 90% of cases the offender was known to the child. Awareness of sexual abuse has risen dramatically since the vast catalogue of assaults committed by Jimmy Savile were revealed last year, with the NSPCC's helpline experiencing a huge rise in calls. But while parents want to help their children stay safe from sexual abuse many don't always have the confidence to explain how. The importance of this is underlined by one of the YouGov findings which shows more than 83% of those taking part said they thought parents of 5-11-year-olds were responsible for talking to them about the risk.
NSPCC_2.jpgA 50" and a 30" film directed by Joanna Bailey at Bare Films presents a series of children telling the camera what terms they use to describe their privates. Funny expressions such as "my Willy Wonka", "Dinkle Winkle" and "my Wiggle" are given in the endearing manner only little kids can manage. This prelude is ended with a voiceover explaining, "whatever they call it, start talking to your child about which part of their body is private", 'The Underwear Rule'. The film will be seeded online through the Netmums network, on Facebook, YouTube and on rich media banners.
The campaign complements the organisation's ChildLine Schools Service which is visiting every primary school in the UK advising children on how to stay safe from all forms of abuse.
There will be supportive guidance for parents explaining the Underwear Rule. The NSPCC has developed an easy-to-remember guide - Talk PANTS - that helps children understand the key points of the Rule.

Privates are private.
Always remember your body belongs to you
No means no
Talk about secrets that upset you
Speak up, someone can help
NSPCC_3.jpgNSPCC_4.jpgPeter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC, said: "The shocking case of Savile has horrified many parents and understandably it has heightened concerns around sexual abuse. But most abuse is closer to home and if we are to tackle this issue we must prevent it before it even starts. To do this we must educate our children about staying safe and speaking out. Parents have told us they lack confidence in approaching this difficult but important issue. We've worked with parent groups to devise a simple, age appropriate way of making sure children speak up if something happens. It's a quick conversation but could make a big difference.

"It's really easier than you may think and you don't have to mention abuse or sex at all. Just ask them to remember the 'Underwear Rule'.

"Of course telling kids about crossing the road, stranger danger and bullying are really important but this should be discussed as well. Most parents still think that stranger danger is a threat facing children from the adult world but most abuse is committed by someone known to the child with stranger abuse being very rare. This means traditional messages like 'don't take sweets from strangers' are important but don't work for much of the abuse that is occurring."

Al Young, executive creative director at Inferno, said: "Children say the funniest things, chats with kids always raise a smile. In contrast, the topic of sexual abuse is never a comfortable conversation but one we must confront, recent events being a brutal reminder of this. The film work for 'Underwear Rule' endears us the kids on screen and emphasises the joy and innocence of children, then the practical message at the end packs a real punch that will stick. The call to action offers a helpful and manageable way to inform a child, without unnecessary distress".

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