There's just no messin' with the kids

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 23 August 2006

When I was around Euston to look at the exhibition of new Victoria Line rolling stock, I also noticed a big promotional display for No Messin'!

No Messin'! is, in their own words:

Network Rail's youth safety brand created to reach an audience that is cynical of authority, media savvy and hard to influence.

No Messin'! rejects the traditional 'just say no' approach and gives kids positive alternatives to hanging out on the railway
No Messin campaign

Trespassing on the railway is a big issue for Network Rail, with around sixty deaths a year. The No Messin'! campaign promises not to patronise young people by speaking to them 'on their level', as well as:

Be credible - Young people are more likely to tune into the message if it feels relevant to them

Cut through the clutter - No Messin'! focuses on kids who are most likely to trespass, and targets the places they hang out

It all seems very laudable. However, I couldn't help thinking that having a massive promotional display outside Euston station explaining just how clever you've been in duping this cynical target age group into listening to an 'authority' voice might be a little counter-productive.

Keep up to date on my new blog