Should the government advertise the “green switchover”?

New report argues national communication campaign modelled on digital switchover ads needed to promote Green Deal and smart meter rollout

The government will today be called on to relax its ban on advertising spend and commission a national communications campaign to drive adoption of upcoming green initiatives, such as the Green Deal energy efficiency scheme, the smart meter rollout, and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

The recommendation is the centrepiece of a new report from the Green Alliance think-tank, backed by a number of high-profile firms including Scottish Power, Asda, Kellogg’s, Groundwork, PepsiCo, which argues that a government-orchestrated campaign is essential to ensure the success of the coalition’s flagship green policies.

Ministers have been reluctant to spend money on advertising since taking office, and a ban on government-backed advertising was announced as one the coalition’s first deficit-reduction measures in the summer of 2010. Since then a number of campaigns have been commissioned, although not on the same level as had been the case prior to 2008.

However, the new report, entitled Neither sermons nor silence: the case for national communications on energy, predicts that without a co-ordinated approach to raising awareness of key policies such as the Green Deal, the government is unlikely to generate the levels of adoption it is hoping for.

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