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FCB Inferno Launches #knifefree Campaign for the Home Office

Press Release - London, 23 March 2018

New campaign features real-life inspiration to encourage young people to live #knifefree


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Today, FCB Inferno launched its first campaign for the Home Office since being appointed in October 2017.

Knife crime is a priority area for the government, which is launching its Serious Violence Strategy in the spring, placing a new emphasis on steering young people away from crime while continuing to promote the strongest possible law enforcement approach.

FCB Inferno was briefed to develop a major campaign, aimed at young people aged 10–21, that directly challenges the perception that knife possession is normal and makes you safer, to educate young people on the serious consequences of carrying knives and to signpost those at risk to organizations that can offer positive alternatives and practical support.

Andy Tighe, Home Office Director of Communications, says: “We know that if you engage with young people early, it is possible to guide them away from a life of crime. Our campaign tells the real stories of young people who have taken the life-changing decision to live knife free. The adverts challenge the misconceptions that carrying a knife is the norm and makes you safer, in a way that resonates with the target audience.”

Sharon Jiggins, EVP at FCB Inferno, says: “The insight work carried out by the Home Office and ourselves demonstrated young people carry knives for a variety of reasons including fear, a false sense of protection and peer pressure. Our campaign recognises that the decision not to carry a knife can feel hugely daunting. In an effort to normalise, celebrate, and encourage this choice, the campaign makes heroes of those who have chosen to live #knifefree.

Featuring young men and women from the communities we hope to reach, with real stories of escaping the control of a knife, we seek to empower our audience and prove there is a way out. This concept lets these individuals share their experiences of living #knifefree, from the consequences they’ve endured from carrying a knife, the catalyst to change and the sense of freedom that comes from putting down the knife.”

FCB Inferno partnered with Archer’s Mark, who worked closely with a range of charities to source real stories, using street-cast actors to protect their identities. They hero a range of young people who have made the brave decision to put down their knives or resist the pressure to pick up a knife and have found a positive alternative as an outlet – in football, dance, BMX-ing and MMA. The results are both powerful and relatable to our target audience.

Award winning director James Burns was chosen to create the films for his bold visual style and personal connection to the narratives being represented in the campaign. Throughout a troubled youth, James spent time in juvenile detention and prison before changing paths at age 18 and launching a career as a filmmaker. His debut documentary “We Live This” collected a number of international accolades and earned him a place on the Saatchi & Saatchi New Director Showcase.

James says: “At one point in my life I was in the same position as some of the subjects that I interviewed. I was compelled to do this project for the youth. They are the ones that will drive the future, and if I could help one young person make a thoughtful decision that may change the course of their life, then I will have brought my traumatic experiences full circle for good reason.”  

Three 60-second films will go out across VOD, radio, OOH and social media, along with two audio stories for radio broadcast.


Agency: FCB Inferno

Sharon Jiggins - Executive Vice President

Al Young – Creative partner

Vicki Holgate – Chief Strategy Officer

Ben Edwards – Creative Director 

Guys Hobbs -  Creative Director

Emily Whiteaway – Account Director

Jamie Tomkins – Senior Account Manager

Lara Ashman – Account Manager

Charlie Coombes – Producer

Senior Project Manager – Tom Lawrence

Laura Pirkis -  Senior Strategist

Lucie Newlan – Strategist

Adam Booker -  Lead Designer 

Sian Pearson – Account Executive

Rich Bagley – Artworker

Steve Clark - Artworker

Chris Jordan - Digital designer

Director – James Burns

Production House – Archer’s Mark




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 9000 employees in 90 countries, with 200 at FCB Inferno.

FCB Inferno’s clients sit across industry sectors and currently include the UK Government (for which they created the This Girl Can brand), BMW, Huawei, NIVEA, Sky and UEFA. FCB Inferno received two Grand Prix awards at Cannes International Festival of Creativity in 2015 and 2016.

FCB Inferno has been voted the top UK agency promoting good causes in 2016 by The Good Report, ranking third overall in the list of international agencies.