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Barnardo’s and FCB Inferno Launch New Hard-Hitting TV Campaign

Press Release - London, 05 September 2019

Computer-generated hyenas symbolising the fear and anxiety felt by bullied children feature in a groundbreaking new Barnardo’s TV advertisement

The ad, which highlights the charity’s mental health support services, will air for the first time on Channel 4. It depicts a 12-year-old girl who feels distressed and afraid while at school, both as she walks home and while she is at her home on her phone in her bedroom. Through the ad, the audience can see that, because of social media and with most children owning smartphones and other devices, problems at school can follow young people home.

In the 40-second commercial, the girl finds support and hope for the future by talking to a specialist – a Barnardo’s counselor. Creative agency FCB Inferno concepted the films, in partnership with production company Rogue Films, with award-winning director Sam Brown, VFX experts The Mill and sound studio Factory. This is the first work in a series of three new ads which are the next installment of Barnardo’s “Believe In Me” awareness-raising campaign.

The stories are portrayed by actors but are based on just one of the many real-life experiences of some of the children supported by the UK’s leading children’s charity. Staff working in children’s services for Barnardo’s have been consulted to ensure that emotions are represented authentically and that a mental health practitioner was present during filming.

“Barnardo’s is very proud of our new high-impact adverts which raise awareness of the services we provide for vulnerable children and young people across the UK,” said Barnardo’s Chief Executive Officer Javed Khan.

“Our aim was to bring to life the serious challenges faced by the children we support. The use of CGI helps give TV viewers a sense of the way a child might feel when they are bullied, on and offline, and the impact it can have on their mental health.

“Although the advert shows that bullying can be frightening, it also demonstrates that with safe spaces and specialist support, such as we provide at Barnardo’s, children can recover from trauma.”

FCB Inferno Chief Executive Officer Frazer Gibney added: “I am incredibly proud of the second wave of work we have created for Barnardo’s and want to thank everyone involved – the clients for backing a brave idea, the creatives for originating it and Sam and the post-production company for executing it with such craft and flair. At every stage of the journey, people have put their heart and soul into this campaign, and I hope this work will raise better awareness of the life-changing work that Barnardo’s does for young people.”

Director Sam Brown said: “My brief was simple, but also incredibly complex at the same time. FCB Inferno tasked me with telling people about the great work Barnardo’s does every day – and doing it in a highly memorable way, in under 40 seconds to boot.

“I hope people will see that the scariness that comes across in the advert is reflective of some of the real lived experiences of the children Barnardo’s supports. It’s devastating when a child experiences fear, anxiety and emotional distress at a young age and I wanted to ensure that these emotions were represented as authentically as possible.” 

“But at the same time, I hope people see that the final message of the advert is about the life-changing work Barnardo’s does with these children, and realise that the charity cannot do it alone. It needs the public’s help so it can support even more families.”

Barnardo’s mental health support services across the UK work with more than 40,000 children, parents and carers. This includes supporting nearly 29,000 children through school-based programmes which increase children’s emotional resilience and empathy to prevent bullying behaviour from starting.

Film can be viewed here:


About FCB Inferno

FCB Inferno is one of London’s leading advertising agencies, and part of global advertising network FCB. The network dates back to 1873, and now has 9,000 employees in 90 countries, with 150 at FCB Inferno. The agency’s clients sit across industry sectors and currently include Sport England, BMW, Huawei, AB InBev, the Home Office, Havaianas and the Premier League.

FCB Inferno believes the world needs more interesting, and creates interesting ideas for brands that people find emotionally relevant and engage with in deeper, more meaningful ways. Research proves time and again that the more interesting the idea, the more it gets noticed and captures hearts and minds. In a world where we are bombarded daily by thousands of messages, interesting gives you a commercial edge.

FCB Inferno was voted Agency of the Year at the inaugural Campaigns for Good awards in 2018. Over the past four years we have been recognised at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity for Film, Social & Influencer, Mobile, Digital Craft and Brand experience campaigns, received two Grand Prix awards in 2015 and 2016, and was the second most awarded UK agency at the festival in 2019.

About Barnardo’s

Last year, around 300,000 children, young people, parents and carers were supported by Barnardo’s through more than 1,000 services across the UK, such as young carers, care leavers, foster carers and adoptive parents, training and skills or parenting classes.

We work to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children and every year we help thousands of families build a better future. But we cannot do it without you.

Visit to find out how you can get involved. Registered charity No. 216250 and SC037605


Agency: FCB Inferno

Senior Account Manager – Jack Steer

Senior Account Director – Jessie Landers

Strategy Director – Helen St. Quintin

Creative Directors – Ben Edwards and Guy Hobbs

Creatives – Jayshree Viswanathan and Chelsey Redshaw

Producer – Charlie Coombes

Client: Barnardos

Director of Marketing, Brand & Communications – Devia Gurjar

Brand Marketing Manager – Sian Beveridge 

Production Company: Rogue Films

Director – Sam Brown 

Executive Producer – James Howland 

Producer – Emma Butterworth 

Offline Edit House – Final Cut

Offline Editor – James Rosen

The Mill – Post-Production

Factory – Sound 

Post-Production: VFX – The Mill

Executive Producer – Alex Fitzgerald

Producer – Kirsty Ratcliffe

Production Coordinator – Dan Crozier

Executive Creative Director – Jonathan Westley “Wes”

Creative Director – Jorge Montiel