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Home » Campaigns » ‘A Cry For Help’ now on Downing Street, busking stations and billboards across the UK

‘A Cry For Help’ now on Downing Street, busking stations and billboards across the UK

By M4G Bureau - March 10, 2023

The charity Pregnant Then Screwed and its creative partners Saatchi & Saatchi are ensuring the cry is impossible to ignore in the lead up to Mother’s Day on March 19

Following last week's launch of A Cry For Help, a campaign launched in the UK to support a new report into the childcare crisis from Pregnant Then Screwed, the charity and its creative partners Saatchi & Saatchi have visited Downing Street, and taken to Westminster’s Parliament square, taken over busking stations, and launched new media spots across the UK to ensure the cry is impossible to ignore in the lead up to Mother’s Day (19th March).  

Saatchi & Saatchi campaign, UK

Visiting Downing Street today, Pregnant Then Screwed delivered a letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt signed by 42,328 struggling parents calling for childcare investment within the spring budget, which will be delivered in parliament next week (15th March). To ensure the request is impossible to ignore, Saatchi & Saatchi has created a crying Mother’s Day card, which plays the campaign’s audio clip when opened, and which the message was delivered within. 

Simultaneously, the campaign’s hero audio clip of a crying baby was blared across London, from activist Steve Bray’s speakers outside Parliament during Prime Minister's Question Time, to Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and The Treasury, with traditional busking spots also taken over by the charity. Scientifically proven to be impossible for human brains to ignore - whether or not you have children - the cry was played to distract commuters and encourage them to join the charity’s commitment to securing a clear investment plan for the childcare sector. 

Alongside existing media space provided by Ocean Outdoor and Spotify, this week also saw the campaign go nationwide, with the DOOH landing spots across Leeds, London and Manchester in partnership with Clear Channel. 

Joeli Brearley, Founder and CEO of Pregnant Then Screwed, says, “The Spring budget is getting closer by the day, and the cry from parents is getting louder. We don’t just have a cost of living crisis in the UK, we have a cost of working crisis with 75% of mothers who pay for childcare saying that it no longer makes financial sense for them to work. 1 in 10 mothers are now paying to go to work; and that’s if they can even secure a childcare place - with more and more nurseries struggling to remain open. The question isn’t whether we can afford to invest in childcare, it is whether we can afford not to. Unless we want to lock parents out of the labour market entirely then we need investment and we need it now.”

Women holding Saatchi & Saatchi cards

Franki Goodwin, Chief Creative Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi comments, “This entire campaign is about creating an ask that’s impossible to ignore, so this week we’ve taken the cry further and wider, both across the UK and straight to the doors of the decision makers. If you’ve ever tried to do anything whilst there’s the sound of a baby crying nearby, it’s impossible, and it turns out that includes working, commuting and even opening letters in peace. Humans are hardwired to take notice of this sound and we’re proud to have partnered with Pregnant Then Screwed to create a campaign impossible to ignore. We hope that with Mother’s Day on the horizon, our request for a response will be heard and listened to.” 

A Cry For Help has been developed to promote a new national report from Pregnant Then Screwed, which surveyed more than 24,000 parents and revealed that three in four mothers (76%) who pay for childcare say it no longer makes financial sense for them to work. The UK's childcare costs are now in the top three most expensive across the developed world (according to data from the OECD) and this is driving up debt for families, with 1 in 3 (32%) parents who use formal childcare admitting that they have had to rely on some form of debt to cover their childcare costs. 

You can read the full research report here. 

Campaign credits:

CAMPAIGN TITLE: A Cry For Help

CLIENT: Pregnant Then Screwed

ADVERTISING AGENCY: Saatchi & Saatchi

CCO: Franki Goodwin

CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Gemma Phillips

CREATIVES: Holly Georgious, Lawrence Slater

EXECUTIVE DESIGN DIRECTOR:  Nathan Crawford 

DESIGNERS: Scott Powell  & Benny Yang

MANAGING DIRECTOR: Sarah Jenkins 

MANAGING PARTNER: Alicia Iveson

ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: Kallie Merentitis

STRATEGY DIRECTOR: Gail Anderson-Brown

EXECUTIVE PRODUCTION DIRECTOR: Matthew Hodges 

SENIOR CREATIVE PRODUCER: Jessica Nelson 

SENIOR INTEGRATED PRODUCER: Margarida Alfama, Thomas Saunders

PR: Celia Venables, Lucy Burton

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Sliced Studio, The Factory, BearJam 

MEDIA SPACE: Ocean Outdoor, Clear Channel, Spotify

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