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Our ads to stop Lansley’s NHS plans

May 20th, 2011 by

Lansley doesn't want to listen Lansley doesn't want to listen

***Update – the ads are in the papers! Click here to read all about it.***

There are just two weeks of health minister Andrew Lansley’s NHS “listening exercise” left. It’s pretty clear what he’d like to happen next. He wants to use his stage-managed exercise as an excuse to claim he’s listened – before ploughing ahead with his reckless NHS changes.

YouGov research paid for by 38 Degrees members has found that 95% of the public have no idea how to get involved with the “listening exercise”.  That suits Lansley down to the ground!

By working together we can expose this sham and stop the listening exercise being used as cover to push through Lansley’s plans. If we club together, we can buy full-page adverts in national newspapers to sound the alarm about Lansley’s phoney listening exercise. We can tell the millions of people Lansley’s ignored how to join the Save Our NHS campaign.

£30,000 will get us ads in the Times, the Mail and the Guardian next week. Please help sound the alarm by making a secure donation now.

Andrew Lansley’s “listening exercise” has been carefully stage-managed. Lots of events have been announced after they’ve finished or shut off from the public – like in Sheffield where local 38 Degrees members couldn’t get in because it was invitation only. But that’s not the only reason it’s a sham – behind the scenes, health officials have been told to carry on with Lansley’s original plans.

The next two weeks are critical. These adverts will help sound the alarm and stop Andrew Lansley using this listening exercise as cover for pushing through his plan. But we can only run them if enough of us chip in.

We’ve got a few days to finalise the designs of the ads. What do you think of the designs above? How can they be improved? Which do you prefer?

Lansley Poster

Photograph by 38 Degrees

Update: thanks for all the feedback. Here’s a new version. What do you think?

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts


  • http://twitter.com/paulrobertlloyd Paul Lloyd

    The advert on the right seems the most striking; when people think of somebody not listening, they think of them sticking fingers in their ears. The image is more eye catching, the message simpler. That would be my choice. The only thing I’m not sure about is his facial expression, but I guess there’s little you can do about that given the photos available.

    Anyway, contributing now. The best 38 Degrees ad yet.

  • Moorec648

    Even if we campaign, is there a mechanism for actually making the government stop these NHS changes? 

  • Elizabeth

    The email you sent round makes a stronger case than the ad does.  The point isn’t that the public don’t *think* he’s listening — let’s be honest, the vast majority don’t know anything about the process — but that he *isn’t* listening.

    Suggested alternative:
    “95% of the public have no idea how to get involved with the “listening exercise”. That suits Lansley down to the ground!  In fact the  “listening exercise” has been carefully stage-managed.
    Most events have been closed to the public, or kept secret until they were over.

    More than 350,000 have already signed the petition against handing over  control of our NHS to for-profit insurance companies”

  • Martin Quested

    Not bad.  I think there needs to be explicit mention of the listening exercise.  Otherwise the Govt can just respond “but we’ve had a listening exercise, of course we’re listening”.  Even some concrete examples (such as in the email you just sent me) of how the listening exercise is a sham.  Will be donating later today – love the work you’re doing.

  • Edwina love lawrence

     I like the one with his fingers in his ears, might be even better with his hands over his ears,  which would make him look more stubborn….

  • Sarah

     Would it not be a good idea to include a link to the government website where we are supposedly meant to leave comments which will be “listened to”? http://healthandcare.dh.gov.uk/category/conversations/listening-exercise-conversations/

    Signing the petition is of course important, but if 95% do not know how to get directly involved in the listening exercise, then perhaps we should be telling them! The more people that leave their opinion on the website, the better – so far, all the 4 sections of consultation have less than 1000 comments between them. The government could so easily ignore 1000 comments – out of a population of 60,000,000, it really is a very poor showing!

  • Mags

    The majority of the public seem to have given up the fight, many of the young dont care.  We have to make people realise they can make a difference.  The fingers in the ears isnt just Langley its so many others too but that picture is the more powerful image to me.  I hope EVERYONE that takes the time to read these posts or commenst also puts their hands in their pockets to donate, even if its just a pound … we are often so quick to moan but not so quick to do!!!!

  • Anonymous

     fingers in the ears is far more powerful

  • Guest

    Have just donated for the ads. They both look great, but thought I’d add my two cents on a couple of things…

    Personally, I prefer ‘Lansley isn’t listening’ over ‘Lansley won’t listen’. The latter alternative sounds like a battle already lost. 
    Regarding the Orange strip of text, I think ‘We can change that’ is simpler, more striking and evocative.

    Finally, in the smaller text there is mention of ‘for-profit insurance companies’. This sounds quite weak to me, perhaps ‘profit-seeking’ or ‘profiteering’ (my favourite) would deliver a stronger message. 

    I don’t actually have a strong opinion on which picture is ‘better’, as they are both quite powerful in different ways.

  • Another guest

    I fully agree with what Elizabeth said earlier. I don’t think the message is fully getting across through the ads in their current format. As she suggested, it really needs some content such as; 

    ‘In fact the  “listening exercise” has been carefully stage-managed. Most events have been closed to the public, or kept secret until they were over.’
    The paragraph ‘Only 1 in 5 believe that Lansley wants to listen to the public on the NHS’  really needs to be scrapped in my opinion. I honestly can’t see what that is supposed to contribute? 

    I’d remove that entirely and replace it with mention of handing control of our NHS to private companies. It is the privatisation aspect of this that really worries people, is the simplest message to deliver and will now stick to this bill whatever the government say. It would be inexplicable to put out these ads without any mention of this aspect of these dangerous reforms.

    So, my two main points would be; 1) fully emphasise the sham nature of the listening exercise (it is it’s fraudulent nature that will anger people most), and 2) make the wider point about the dangerous privatisation of our NHS. 

    Otherwise, great work! Ecstatic to see the contributions going up so quickly! : ) 

  • john

    Elizabeth is right.  The main point is the deceit of the nation into believing a consultation has taken place.  This “listening exercise” is a sham and the readers of broadsheet newspapers may not want to join a radical-sounding organisation with an obscure name or even sign a petition but the point is that people are being lied to and they will feel strongly about that.  Put a full-page advert with a block of text exposing the fixing going on behind the scenes.  The pictures are powerful -(my take is that fingers in ears works better but the strapline & text on the other poster are more striking). 

    Don’t miss this opportunity (and our money) by asking for peoples support without using the chance to explain how the government are trying to pull the wool over peoples’ eyes by whitewashing things with a pause for some imaginary listening exercise.

    But thanks for campaigning!    – John

  • Garymorrisroe

    The image with the fingers in ears is more striking.  However, the ‘strap line’ needs to be more evocative to attract those who are not yet engaged.  There will be swathes of people who do not know who Lansley is – so a strong, explicit ’Save Our NHS’ message is needed to crystallise the jeopardy.  This would also provide a tonal shift away from the party political/personal (which can be a turn off for many) towards greater emphasis on the ISSUE.  Just my thoughts.

  • Shaunpritchardo

    Yes, here’s the “mechanism” if they get close to pushing changes to the NHS we don’t want we get ourselves to Parliament and physically remove all these self serving scumbags (thats all parties). They need reminding that the people own democracy not them. They serve us! Any changes to the NHS should be pursed and qualified through a referendum. Over 50% and the changes go through anything less  forget it.   

  • Paul Byrne

    Fingers in the ear is most effective (also makes him look very childish – which can only help). I prefer Lansley ISN’T listening – I think this highlights the wasted time/effort/money of this pretense. I am a bit concerned that £30k will be spent in newspapers that the readers will have already formed strong opinions and will be for/against the reforms already – so won’t be swayed – but assuming you have done your media research so good luck.

  • Guy

    I just prefer ‘Lansley isn’t listening’ (together we can make him). It kind of makes more sense semantiaclly, and I prefer the sound of it too… 

  • Shaunpritchardo

     Surely one person on here would be prepared to stand for Parliament as an Independent. Or create a new party. They don’t take a salary they are paid by supporters through donation based on performance. We need someone to stand up for the majority of people. We should be able to go about our business knowing that the environment, the vulnerable, the health service and education will not be used as a political punch bag for career politicians. Why can’t we agree to set up a 20 year strategy on the NHS with a consensus view that it will be protected and improved by a body that is not impacted on by party politics but answers to the people. We decide on its success we decide on what to do with it not politicians. It’s no good using the current voting system as politicians quite simply lie and impose their own ideas with less than 50% of the vote. Sorry this is an emotional rant but I’m so angry I’m sure there is a better way! I want my children to enjoy the service provided by the NHS. Its not perfect but its ours and it mostly works for us. Its just helped my Dad we would have been lost without it.  

  • Brook Studios

    I work in advertising and communication – and with respect – think you’re approaching this in the wrong. Before deciding on copy for a campaign, you need to ask yourself – why would someone engage in this? What is in it for them?  To lead with headline “Lansley won’t Listen” you run the risk of missing an opportunity to connect with what is really important to your audience. This sounds like more politician bashing (boring- so done at the moment) and will also alienate Tory voters. Rather, it is essential to focus on what is really important for your audience. eg access to good health care for them and their children, even for those who can afford it. The message that lies at the heart of the NHS! Re-brief your copywriters to come up with a headline that is relevant to the concerns of the wider audience and inclusive regardless of how you voted. I will donate regardless but, in my professional opinion, this ad is ok, but does not quiet hit the mark. If you are gonna go with this, don’t waste your money by running in Tory rags.

  • Helena

    Fingers in the ears is much better and the layout is more effective.

    I prefer “Lansley Isn’t Listening”.

    The text should most definitely mention that listening exercises have been closed/kept secret because so few people know this and it’s outrageous.

  • Cwiffler

    Finger in the ears is definitely more striking. You need to appeal to the lowest common denominator if you are trying to reach the uninformed. Make the message simple and stark – “Tell this man the nhs is not for sale” or “Free healthcare, not profits for shareholders” for example.

    Also you should also put an ad in the Sun if you get enough money – far higher reader figures than the already converted Guardian readership.

  • Sarah

    “Isn’t listening” is better than “won’t listen”. Also, I agree with the commenters who have said we need to make this personal to people. This issue is easy to ignore if you don’t focus on what’s going to happen – ie disintegration of the NHS. Also if there’s any way of simplifying what the proposals are in the text (no easy feat, I know) then I think that’s important too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kris-Littlesun-Hubley/726816779 Kris Littlesun Hubley

    I agree with other commenters that this needs to be more focussed on the NHS and what will be lost rather than on the individual politician, as then it becomes more about parties and personalities than the actual issues involved.

  • Ian Fell

     Change orange banner to ‘Here’s how you can make him’.  Need to make it personal action.

  • Anonymous

    As has already been mentioned, it’s important to make it obvious it’s about the NHS or else people may glaze over this ad. A large “Save the NHS” (or something along those lines) strapline or label in the corner might be a good idea so that people immediately know the issue is relevant to them.

  • Ed

    I’m not alone in this comment, I know, but is the Times, Mail or Guardian readership representative enough of the ‘concerned public’? I think at least one other ‘tabloid’ should be in there, eg Mirror.

  • Grazmaster

    What about “The Art of Not Listening”.

  • Wen

    ‘Lansley isn’t listening.
    YOU can help change that.’
    Then you need to highlight somehow that this is about saving the NHS.

    Speak to each individual reader of the ad. – YOU.

  • Robertchewter

    Its should have the screaming headline SAVE THE NHS    why? because some people who arent politically aware or interested dont know who Lansley is !!!!!! if you showed a photo to people in the street of him i bet  agood 50% wouldnt have a clue

  • Robertchewter

    also make it clear the NHS is in peril !!! because its going to be flogged offf or be made profitable for wealthy companies…i did a handbill NHS  one it featured a tawdry SPIV  which is what lansley and tories actually are..spivs and pimps…

  • Robertchewter

    wont listen..does not want to listen… HIGHLIGHT THE DECEPTION !!!!!

  • John

    Needs the copy “Save the NHS!” at the top.

    As for which one, the one on the left with the ear protectors is much better.

    However replace the copy “we can change that” to the one from the right – “Together, we can make him”.

    Apart from that, good work!

  • Mike

     I agree with so much of what’s been posted.

    Key points from me are:-

    The point made about handing in the Sheffield petition and the
    nearby secret ‘listening’ event just makes me sick. This has to be a bold statement
    in the add.

    The Government are deliberately deceiving you! (the people).

    If YOU want a health system like the USA, where x% have no
    health cover, then do nothing.

    Don’t waste money placing adds in Tory Rags other than Red tops.
    Somehow you’ve got to wake-up the masses of people in this country.

    Include http://healthandcare.dh.gov.uk...
    in the add

    Why are Westminster Politians deciding on these NHS changes
    for England alone?

    Put Clegg out of your mind when reason what’s happening – it’s
    the Tories calling the tune.

    Absolutely don’t trust Clegg, his Student Loans track record
    says it all!

  • Robertchewter

    where to place this item ( its not an advert as such) ok check out link the the NHS reform ‘debate’ in The SUN and read the comments there….tell you anything?



  • Harbro

    I would like to support the newspaper ads campaign but it is essential we don’t focus only on Lansley, which these ones do.
       Cameron will sack him anyway and it will reinforce his claim to have listened to our concerns. The listening exercise will not result in major changes, only cosmetic rejigging to open way for massive privatisation of the NHS.  We have to put the pressure on Cameron and the Lib Dems in the cabinet and the other Lib Dem MPs. They should be the focus of the posters, not Lansley who is already ‘dead-man-walking’.

  • Robertchewter

     agree SAVE OUR NHS as that is waht its really about and also about the deception going on

  • Robertchewter

    i read the SUN comments on cleggy and NHS ‘reforms’ and posted the link to them..its mixed but you can see the idiots on there stil fighting the cold way about union domination of the NHS (duh!) and it being a monolith that needs cutting down to size… dont know if itd be worth placing in that rag..murdoch and cameron are bedfellows in many ways (coulson)

  • Robertchewter

    ” Our NHS is amongst the WORST in Europe. This “bog-standard” organisation
    has been run for years for the benefit and greed of the unions with
    little regard for the patients.We must ignore Labour and the unions and
    simply copy the Swedes,the..blah blah blah “  SUN reader writes (crayon broke)

  • Robertchewter

     agreed SAVE OUR NHS !!

  • Harbro

    Actually I have just read the post from Brook Studios and agree with that point entirely — this poster doesn’t really connect readers with the issues that matter.
    They are: a comprehensive health service, free at the point of use, based on need, publicly provided, publicy funded for you and your family. Sorry I have not created a snappy slogan but those are the key issues.

  • Robertchewter

    Mr Cameron said he wanted to reassure hospital doctors that “they will have a
    really big part in this future NHS”.

    He said: “I think when they hear the words GP commissioning they think it is
    only GPs who are going to be involved in the future and somehow hospital
    doctors will be left out

    “That’s not the case but maybe we need to make that clearer.” The PM promised
    “proper and substantive” changes to the reforms but insisted under-fire Mr
    Lansley was doing an “excellent” job.

    Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3532609/Hospitals-victory-in-NHS-reforms.html#ixzz1MuNEUsQGthats according to The SCUM 18th April 2011..er what???

  • Guest

    I think ‘NHS’ should feature more strongly in the ads - not everybody will know Lansley’s name. The focus should be more on the NHS.

  • Grazmaster

    It is not about Lansley anymore, he will be replaced anyway. It’s about Cameron that announce the listening pause: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/apr/03/nhs-reform-delay-cameron-lansley.

    Therefore the advert should feature Cameron, not Lansley. He is recognised virtually by anybody; we’ll putting the pressure (blame) straight to the PM in this way.

    I also agree that the ‘NHS’ should feature more strongly in the ads so there is a strong relationship between Cameroon and the NHS reform.

  • Stephen Flanagan

    Are the AD’s going to be in colour?  What about others papers (The Sun / The Mirror)?  I agree with the comment below that the NHS needs to be in it more.  I think it’s good but is it striking enough to have people stop, read and sign up???  Lansley’s litening exercise is as quite as a morgue, like the NHS will be!

  • guest

    As well as these paid adverts I think there should be more information about what the listening excersize is – I don’t understand it – I agree also there should be more emphasis on the NHS or bold sentences about what the cuts would really mean should they be allowed to go ahead.

  • Phyl156

    I am amazed that all the Lansley plans are being rushed through without them having been passed by Parliament. Not a single vote has been taken either for or against. It is all just happening. The private companies are laughing all the way to the banks and will hold us, the patients, to ransome. 

  • http://twitter.com/kathryntickell Kathryn Tickell

    The one on the right is the stronger image…but unless you’re already interested in & aware of what’s happening you don’t know what it’s about. How many people recognise Lansley?? Needs to flag up the NHS aspect more clearly.

  • Stewart

    I honestly believe that above all else the main target should be The SUN.
    It has 13% of the market against The Mail (9.7%), The Times (2.6%) and The Guardian (2.1%) (National Readership Survey) Going for the Mail and the Sun would hit 32.7% of the newspaper readers in the UK.
    But quite apart from that The Sun’s customers are subject to the worst excesses of Murdoch’s Propaganda International and someone needs to rip their blinkers off!

  • JimR

    Perhaps a line like “Has he listened to YOU?” could be included, with details of how the readers can make their views known.
    Incidentally, I prefer the right-hand image and the text from the left one.

  • shane

    I think cameron should feature in the advert instead of lansley he is recognised more also I think the N.H.S  in the background should be a bit more clearer

  • Paul C

    I definitely agree with the prevailing mood that the NHS connection needs to be considerably clearer. I would ignore both of these ads if I weren’t a close follower of politics — but if they made it clearer that what he’s not listening to is us, the public, when we say we don’t want the NHS cuts (get that word in there, too!) and shake-ups he’s proposing, I’d read it.

  • Hi

    Right hand one, but with NHS clearly visible somewhere. People won’t care otherwise.

  • Jason

     I’m one of the 95% that don’t know how to get involved in the consultation. Perhaps you guys could send us an e-mail explaining how we can and we can try to exert some influence? We could forward it around and spread the word.

  • shane


  • Joan

    It should say ‘The Government isn’t listening’. 


  • Glen

    I think it needs to be MUCH clearer that this is about saving the NHS.  The largest text needs to say somethign like ACT NOW TO PROTECT YOUR NHS.  Not everyone knows who Lansley is and therefore may well just turn the page, not especially caring if he’s listening.  A bold headline like the one I’ve suggested will grab people’s attention – the public are passionate about protecting the NHS so use that to grab attention

  • Kelibath

    I agree with Glen – you need a bigger bar at the top or bottom, saying  ACT NOW TO PROTECT YOUR NHS

  • Tom

    The ads need to be in high circulation papers – the Mail is good, but what about the Sun? (The Guardian, of course, is preaching to the converted!)

  • Maijasl

     visually, the EARMUFFS are better than the fingers

  • Helenwheeler

    Doesn’t say starkly or simply enough that this is about privatising the NHS 
    most people do not understand this and it needs repeating clearly and as often as possible

  • Kat

    You should be actually advertising how to take part in the listening exercise as clearly as you are highlighting your own campaign. Really disappointing otherwise, completely wrong emphasis.

  • Mike Barson

    I prefer the one on the left, (Andrew Lansley doesnt want to listen) it gives me the feeling of ‘not listening’ and ‘carrying on’ like in an industrial setting, ie very noisy factory and the machine keeps running. (he’s onviously not stopping it) The guy with the sound proof headphones is blocked off from whats going on – his crossed arms = he’s not doing anything. Gives the vibe he’s insulated in his own world!
    Go for it!

  • ‘It’s Our NHS’

    “The NHS will last as long as there are folk left to fight for it”
    - Nye Bevan
    Time to fight – Time for Joe Public to take the gloves off and get in close!

  • Darre Gale

     I agree with this. Working as a nurse within the NHS, most patients are not aware of the consequences of Lansleys ideas, this is simply the sell off of the NHS, this is not about your health care but a money grab, the ads need to be more direct.

  • Kate

     I think this needs a rethink. It’s an advert that speaks to people already involved in the debate. The Nye Bevan “folk left to fight for it” quote speaks to the general public’s loyalty to the NHS, and it’s that that needs to be drawn on.

  • Glen

    A really rough mock up of a suggested alternative based on comments on
    here – focussing on making it clear that this is about fighting for the
    NHS, rather than an attack on Lansley.

  • Shelley

    Ad should include details of how to become involved in the listening excercise and maybe include other links of how to lobby your MP etc..

  • Joylsutherland

    I prefer the one with the ear defenders: very apt! It would be good to emphasize how important it is Lansley and his government do listen, if the NHS is not to be altered for the worse.

  • NeilR

    There isn’t enough focus on the NHS in these adverts. Unfortunately the reality is that most of the public wouldn’t recognise Lansley. The focus should be on the tories selling off our NHS, not Lansley

  • NeilR

    Also I agree with a previous comment, the Guardian readership are already on board. Adverts would be more effective in The Sun, Metro, Evening Standard, which also have a higher readership

  • Shelley

    average person switches of when it comes to politics, need really attention grabbing headline and few scenarios illustrating dangers of switching to usa style system and something to imply it is them that could end up  and left ill and it is everybodies duty to fight. Get some real pple with heart tugging comparative stories.

  • Henry

    These proposed adverts preach to the converted. It is vital to get the message across that the coalition are actively trying now to privatise the NHS and effectively give it away to corporations.  The adverts need to say that the NHS we all value so preciously is about to be taken away from us.  Forget the focus on Lansley, most people don’t know who he is.  The adverts should show babies, children, the elderly & families as NHS-users and the clear banner message :  “The government is actively working to privatise the NHS and turn it into an insurance-based system like the USA has.  We can never let this happen.  David Cameron keep your hands off our NHS.  It is not yours to give away, it belongs to us and to our children.”

    Underneath you need to direct people to how to stop this, e.g. signing the petition and donating to the campaign.  Perhaps also some evidence of the plans, e..g the Mark Britnell smoking gun…

    It really is important to get these adverts into the biggest selling daily nationals, whose readership don’t really know what is planned.  So the ads should go in the Mail, Mirror, Times, Sun, Good luck.  Henry.

  • Anonymous

     but how DO you get involved in the listening  exercise? signing a petition isn’t the same! It looks cynical if you don’t actually tell people how they can make a contribution more than just entering their email address into an internet form..

  • Catherine

    I know “your” colour is orange, but at the moment given the fact there is a negative feeling about the Lib Dems makes it look like a Lib Dem advert and people who are tired of the Lib Dems (lots of the readers of the Daily Mail/Mirror) are very unlikely to read it!!  

    In summary, avoid so much orange and emphasise in summary what the proposals will lead to.

  • Pat

    I see you are planning ads in the Mirror and the Mail. Mirror seems fine. Can I suggest Sun, rather than Mail if there are limited funds available? I know generalising is not seen as correct, however, I can’t help feeling that Sun readers are more likely to be affected by any changes than Mail readers. Generally, that is! Good luck, whatever you decide. Thanks for all the work you are doing.

  • GD

    Its typical that the Tories do not want to be seen as the party that deliberately crumbled the NHS into bite size chunks so their corporate hea;lth supporters and friends can grab some! Cameron should be deeply ashamed that his personal credibility is being used to decieve.
    They try to justify every cut by saying the money isn’t there, yet its kept away from the governments coffers by their own deliberate actions that allow £132 billion to be legally dodged from taxation every year.

  • Tom Sliwinski

    I think that the if we keep working together hard. I think Andrew Landsley has not got the first Idea on what the NHS provides. I also think that he doesent even know what pain is. I dont think he knows  what he is doing even. I also think I will regret his plans for the NHS when he gets ill that is if he ever does and possibly the same to David Cameron. I know that sounds harsh but realisticly I do think that they dont quite know what the doctors and nurses do for us and how they work really hard to make us well.

  • Surrey Contributor

    I have contributed to the poster. Meither Cameron nor Lanley want to listen. I like the design but I think you should look for a different picture of Lansley as he looks too active.

  • GMan

    The advert needs to include email addresses so that responses can be instant and direct from the moment the advert appears. The petition can also be signed. The email address of Andrew Lansley and David Cameron would be good. The responses should also show how geographically spread the opposition is. Just an idea.

  • Zen39365

     The text content should be larger.

    Lansley will like this picture of him – it makes him look interesting and heroic – can you find another one.

    Also – beware dark colours in newsprint – heavy colour like this can often print too dark so you lose the impact.

  • David Smith

    I think only the House of Lords can now force  the government to listen properly. We should be contacting Cross benchers. How about? “The Health and Social Care Bill has attracted a huge amount of criticism, but the government is not really listening. The logic of its position is surely that its reforms would deliver better value for money. We believe that the evidence indicates the opposite. We think that it is now imperative that all cross benchers attend the debate on this Bill and hear the eveidence for themselves.”

  • Info

    Who is Andrew Lansley?

    What is the advert about? It is not clear. SAVE THE NHS Should be the headline and Cameron should be in the picture.

  • Mary

    Good job!
    The image on the rights is the better of the two, as somehow fingers in ears stresses the puerile nature of his lack of response and makes him look less than heroic. I would match it with the text from the image on the left, or merge the two ‘Together we can change that’.
    It may be good to stress that this advert has been made possible by collective action and funding.

  • Doctor Mike Cole

    It isn’t clear what the ad is about. Many people will not have heard of Lansley. It should say something like “How YOU can save the NHS”
    Doctor Mike Cole 

  • qwerty

    should be the headline 

  • Alternatives

    Paying for health through tax to support the NHS means supporting a health provider who can save money by providing efficient, effective health care, and supporting programs aimed at helping us keep well.
    Paying for health by paying doctors for each time they have to treat someone (U.S. style health care) means they earn their money through people being sick.
    Paying through an insurance system means that the system is encouraged to find reasons not to treat people at all, and they are very good at it.  Obama’s reforms, being fought tooth and nail by the Republicans and the Tea Party people, are only efforts to make the insurance company offern any insurance at all to people who have catastrophic health problems or any of the other reasons they find not to offer cover.  People in the U.S. go bankrupt because of health problems, the U.S. has Third World health statistics except for the rich – Go onto Care 2, or the website of a U.S. newspaper, look responses to articles about health reform – find out just how desperate Americans are about health costs. 
    You can’t get admitted to a U.S. hospital without first filling out an A4 questionnaire about how your bill will be paid, and 25% of the U.S. health dollar is spent on the administration needed to collect payments.  Great system?  Not for the patient.  Some of this information should be on the poster.

  • Artemesia

    You are preaching to the converted by putting adverts in The Guardian. You need to concentrate on the right wing press such as the Daily Mail or The Sun or even Metro in London. And don’t assume that people know who Lansley is. 

    Good luck.  

  • Save the NHS

    Its quite difficult to say from these images as they are too small to read exactly what is on them, but from what I can see I’m worried that this doesn’t really give any information to someone who is not aware of the situation and what is wrong with the plans- maybe a few facts in the corner would make it more informative to a wider audience rather than just catching those who are already aware allowing more people to help make Lansley listen. I do think the ads are an excellent idea though. 

  • Bob Hanson

    I prefer the right hand ad, but we’re aiming to reach people who don’t yet know much about what’s going on.  They may not have heard of Lansley or what he’s supposed to be listening to, but they know about the NHS. Feature NHS in big type – maybe a second banner under ‘Together, we can make him’, like ‘Together, we can save the NHS’.

  • EvaB

    Very few people quickly flicking through a newspaper will recognise either of these images as being about the NHS, and hardly anyone will know who Lansley is.  Something like “Save the NHS” or “NHS under threat” should be the most prominent wording.  Why not just say “The Government” isn’t listening?  And a picture of Cameron will get far more attention than the almost anonymous Lansley.

  • Astridfrench

     I agree that most people wont know who Lansley is, so putting a large picture of him won’t have any impact.  There should be large lettering about saving the NHS and stopping the Tory/LibDem cuts/privatisation of the NHS.  Cameron should be on the picture too.  The ad should not go in the Guardian but Mail, Sun, Mirror, Metro if possible.  There needs to be doctors, surgeons, nurses in the picture and even large quotes from the medical profession anti the govt’s proposals.  People need to see that doctors and nurses are against the proposals.  People respond to pictures of doctors and nurses.  

  • Rwdm

    I agree with Astridfrench and other before her. Whilse the ad may mention Lala Lansley (and the picture on the right is a good one with his fingers in his ears) that should only be a minor part. Lansley is not fronting all this at present; it’s the Government’s plan – for which they have no mandate. The ad should be about saving the NHS, which, even before the Government’s proposed reforms, is already facing enormous financial pressures and cuts to services. The reforms could do irreparable damage and tear the service apart. I’d rather see the money spent in the Mail, Sun, Mirror, Metro, Telegraph & Times – most Guardian readers are probably aware of what’s going on. 

  • NeilR

     With all the recommendations for the advert, will you be posting modified designs before you go to print in the media? I really think the ads should target the wider public that have no idea about what the coalition are currently doing to the NHS. You have to consider that the right wing press such as The Sun, Mail, Metro, Evening Standard, Telegraph etc haven’t been giving the NHS reforms the sort of coverage they deserve, so the readers aren’t likely to have a grasp of these changes. Using an images of the US healthcare system which Obama is trying to model on the NHS where as the Tories are trying to move towards the failed system in the US would send out a powerful message. 

    38 degrees is specifically about issues based politics not personality based politics, so it needs to move away from targeting Lansley. One of the worst things that could happen as a result of this campaign is Lansley losing his job. Why, because the media will use this as ‘a change in direction’ which it clearly wouldn’t be, but the Tories would sell it as such and the wider public would see it as such and the Lib Dems have a get out clause for voting through all the changes. 

  • Em

    I have to say that I agree with many who have posted before, that it will likely have a bigger impact if the ad is immediately recognisable to the majority as being about the NHS. The people we are trying to get this message across to (by and large) probably either a) won’t recognise Lansley b) will assume this is a party political ad.  

  • Guest

    I aso agree with the Em who posted earlier, I though the Ad looked more “Party Campaign’, it needs to focus more on NHS and what could happen if it went to the Failed U.S. style insurance system.

    From a personal stand point being currently unemployed/seeking work without insurance and also being a sufferer of Coronary Heart Disease, diagnosed after a sudden Heart Attack.

    I have to wonder if it was the Insurance system back then would I have been spending a day with the Undertaker because of not having any insurance? People forget that in some cases in the U.S. people were turned away from Hospitals if they had no insurance, the only safeguard were the “Mercy” hospitals that operated in most places.

  • Guest

    I think “Save the NHS” should be in big letters so that its more obvious what the advert is for, rather than an anti Lansley advert as people have said below. Also mention the 350,000+ people that have signed the Save the NHS petition. That’s a great number to have on an advert.

  • save the nhs

    SAVE THE NHS!! should be the headline in the poster 

  • David

    I think the ads should hit people with something that everybody who uses the NHS will be concerned about.

    Yes, it’s true Lansley is NOT listening.  I’ve written privately to my MP three times in the last six months about the NHS issue and each time I have received a long letter back that simply REPEATS the Tory’s line on the issue.  Each reply has amounted to clear evidence that my MP just isn’t listening: he just takes advantage of the opportunity to repeat the governments plans. They are deliberately using the “broken record technique” in the belief that in the end we will believe them or give up.

    So, how to alarm Joe Public?

    Answer: Hit Joe Public with something that concerns HIM, his happiness, his health, his welfare!

    How about something like:

    The government wants YOU to keep on donating your blood free of charge, like a good unselfish citizen.
    But the government plans to then put YOUR blood into the hands of a private company!
    That private company, of course, exists to make a profit.  Private companies are not charities.
    Do YOU want private companies making money out of YOUR blood, YOUR health?
    Say “No!” to the government’s plans to introduce more money-making private companies into our NHS.
    Help us make it clear that all we want the government to do is to make the present NHS more and more efficient.
    We don’t want more privatization!

  • Anonymous

    I think a better, more authentic and effective ploy would be to find a picture of him, head in hands, with hands cupped over his ears. These pictures above appear unnatural and doctored, which is what they are, of course, whereas a real picture would make people linger longer on the ad. 

  • Michael H

     Agree with a previous comment : spending money on an ad in The Guardian is a waste of money as you are speaking to the converted and aware….

    Better target readers of Tory rags who will wake up one day gobsmacked that there is no NHS left to turn to .

    Also you’d do better with an “NHS to be abolished” shock horror type headline to get people’s attention –  rather than picture of a middle aged minister who looks like he’s auditioining for that Halifax ad.

    + bring to atttention that the Secretary of State for Health would no longer be responsible for providing a comprehensive national health service, under the plans.

    + that local hospitals and services will be allowed to “fail” and “go out of business” because of the effect of competition law on commissioning…

    + That GP Consortia (and even “failed” hospitals) will end up eventually being run by private healthcare companies and/or owned by private equity, hedge funds etc.


  • Guest

     I’m not sure that the focus on Lansley is the best approach….the coalition has already tried to weaken the impact of Lansley by associating the reform proposals with others, wheeling out Cameron and Clegg who are much better at “selling”. Also agree with comments below that many people won’t even know who he is. A clear “save our NHS” message would be better, in my view. I’m reminded of Labour’s “24 hours to save the NHS” campaign before the 1997 election. That was very effective.

  • Guest

    Cameron should definitely be more of a focus – he won’t like being associated with wrecking the NHS. He made it his job to detoxify the Tory image by saying how much he loved the NHS. Lansley is just collateral damage. The focus should surely be on Cameron. He is the one who has most to lose.

  • http://twitter.com/UNKNOWNJOHNNY Johnny

     Cameron is the face of the, you can trust us with the NHS. Obviously he is not trust worthy and that needs to be the focus.  I have huge reservations about lining the pockets of the Tory press but if thats what it takes.

  • Brummie

     The local Midlands paper, the Birmingham Mail, has annouced that over 700 NHS beds and 1 in 8 nurses are to be cut across Birmingham and Solihull trust alone. The front page article reports that 15% of beds at the main Birmingham and Solihull hospitals, Queen Elizabeth, Heartlands, Good Hope, Solihull and City Hospitals going. The Conservative chair of Birmingham City Council health scrutiny committee Councillor Deirdre Alden said “A year ago, we were all promised no cuts in the NHS and that’s obviously not the case”. Councillor Martin McCarthy of Solihull health scrutiny committee says in part “They are seeing the erosion of services and will lead to the ultimate closure of Solihull Hospital?”The editorial in the Mail is equally damning. It ends with the following ” David Cameron’s pledge to protect the NHS has a hollow ring now that the stark reality has been revealed. Once again it looks like ordinary men, women and children will pay the price. Shameful.”Even before Lansley’s bill gets any further, cracks are already starting to appear in the NHS, therefore Birmingham Against The Cuts has called a protest on the front of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Selly Oak on Monday 23rd May at 5pm.

  • P Sauter

    Personally I feel it must be short, sharp and hard hitting, people are evermore convinced that they cannot make a difference, that politicians will just do they want anyway ! Make it REAL !


           and WILL disappear once and for all”





    Want the whole truth ? Go to 38 Degrees website to discover the real purpose of Lansley’s plans, as 388,892 have already, many of whom donated their money to fund these adverts ! 


    Just a few thoughts, to help I hope. Incidentally you should perhaps promote Naomi Klein’s book The SHOCK Doctrine, it really lays out just how scheming the money makers are, who are out to make huge profits for a very few elites, as they like to think themselves. Basically in the wake of a major public shock, disaster = tsunami, catastrop[he = Iraq War or Economic = The Great Bank collapse.

    Then while we the public are suffering the effects of this shock they start hammering through more profit making / profiteering opportunities in the hope of making the public pay through taxes for them to take over state functions and privatise them, the politicans that aid this process are later rewarded with director positions on the various company boards.

    Regards Paul Sauter

  • Worotan

    I think a better tagline would be


    to make people think about not having been consulted themselves, rather than being told that he isn’t listening to the broad mass, which they have to believe rather than trusting their own experience.

  • Cookie

    I’m not sure I agree with the people who’ve been saying that an advert in the Guardian would be a waste of money.  Only 5% of people are aware of how to engage with Lansley, and I don’t necessarily think that all of Guardian readers are in that 5%.  But then again, I don’t read the Guardian so have no way of knowing whether they’ve done an expose on Lansley’s shenanigans.

    Just wanted to say that the NOrth West where I live  also has a Metro newspaper, which is widely distributed and is published by Greater Manchester Weekly Newspapers Ltd, 1 Scott Place, Manchester, M3 3RN. Actually, I have just read the blurb on the inside of the paper, and it says that it is actually a national newspaper, and is the third most widely read with a total of 3.5 million people reading it in 33 towns & cities. It seems like a good idea to advertise in this paper.  Their National Advertising phone no is 020 7651 5201.

  • Cookie

    Just wanted to add that since you will probably have around £70,000 by MOnday or Tuesday, by the looks of things, instead of going for bigger ads, I assume you mean across two pages, does it not make more sense to reach more people by putting a full-page advert in seven different national papers?  I’ve studued a bit of advertising in the past, and when placing a full-page ad, to get people’s attention, it needs to be on the right-hand part of the two-page spread.  Don’t know why, but people pay more attention to what is written there than on the left-hand side.

    I also agree with people who’ve been saying that Lansley is not well-known enough, and we need to be putting the egg on Cameron’s face instead. And we need to have a slogan that highlights the fact that what we’ve put all our money towards is about the NHS. The slogans as you have them don’t get the message across. 

  • Adam Dullenty

    I agree with various below – while the petition is important people not in the know will expect information about HOW we can participate in the listening exercise. Maybe prepare for this by saying something like:

    “We would like to tell you how to participate in a listening exercise near you, but we can’t – nobody knows when or where they will be and they are only announced after they have closed.”

    Maybe then:

    “To find out how you can help, go to:” and include a link to a landing page with “1. Sign the petition 2. Donate for more ads to expose this listening exercise sham 3. Etc…”

    Also headline should be: “7 DAYS TO SAVE THE NHS!” Or however many days remain

  • Cookie

    I think it’s also a good idea to put ways in which people can engage with Lansley and Cameron about this issue in the ad.  Is there a public website that the government is consulting on?  Would also be good if you could let us know, too.  I’ve been a 38 degrees member since before the campaign started, and I’m in the dark about how to get a message across to the government still – can’t remember receiving any email alerts about how to take action, except for the petition and this ad campaign.

  • Agnespye

    Our NHS was just about recovering from Thatcher’s slash and burn,and its taken 20 yrs! while I agree more savings could be acheived with better organisation, I do object to MP’s like Lansley whose family business is in private health care and who is looking to profit from this restructure being put in charge of it. Cameron is hiding here and pretending to “love ” the NHS. I fully support England in the fight to save the NHS, I live in Scotland and while the NHS here is safe from Lansley we are also getting staff cut backs.  38 degrees is doing a great job -keep it up, I donate a small amount regularly

  • NeilR

     It would be nice to have some feedback on here from the people at 38 Degrees to let us know if all our recommendations and comments are being taken in to account. 

    Having a national advertising campaign is a great idea, but it could end up being a waste of all the donations if it is not done very well. For example the comment about doing more one page spreads as opposed to double page spreads. Also feedback about the content of the poster, as the general opinion is that it is not hitting the right note. 

  • Cookie

    Just a few suggestions about how to make the advert grab the attention. I think that the idea of having someone with their fingers in their ears is very eye-catching and makes people take a second look, but I think it should be David Cameron instead, as he’s so well-recogised.  Plus, we need to put the blame at the top – embarrassing Cameron will have a lot more mileage than going after Lansley on his own.

    I like the Orange bar across the page, as that ties in with the 38 degrees logo.  The writing above the orange bar could read ‘It’s our NHS’, the writing in the orange bar could read ‘They’re trying to kill it’ – to imply that Cameron isn’t in it alone.  You can bring out the fact that there’s no listening going on in the blurb, as I’ve suggested below.

    Then you could add another tagline below the orange bar to read ‘Have you been consulted?’

    Then the blurb, I’ve done a suggestion here:

    David Cameron and his Health Minister, Andrew Lansley, have joined forces to gag the nation. They have so far failed to listen to the doctors, nurses, and other health professionals who warn that the proposed changes will mean disaster for the NHS, and now they want to stop you having your say too.

    In public, Cameron & Lansley want you to believe that they’re consulting us all about the changes.  In private, they know that they’ve done everything they can to bias the “listening exercise”.  Andrew Lansley has stage-managed most of the consultation events by making them closed to the public, for officially invited, approved guests only.  Behind the scenes, health officials have been told to carry on with Lansley’s original plans.

    If you are like us, you won’t want the government to bring in their planned changes to our NHS, that many experts are warning will result in an American-style health service run by private, profiteering companies, to the disadvantage of those already struggling to pay bills.  Our health service may not be perfect, but it serves every one of us at the point of need.  Don’t let Cameron & Lansley stop you making your voice heard.

    The consultation period is up on [insert date].  Here’s how to have your say:

    [insert some blurb about (1) how to engage with Cameron & Lansley, and (2) how to join 38 degrees, a non-partisan organisation that brings people together to take action on the issues that matter to you, and its 300,000 members]

  • Cookie

    Just had a look again at the size of the one-page add.  If you want to make it effective, I think you may need to put about the amount of blurb I’ve done to get the full message across, which means you might have to tweak the picture. I’m not saying you have to go with what I’ve written, but I’ve tried to be as succinct as I can, and take into account some of the suggestions given below.  If you had Cameron with fingers in ears, the entire bottom of the page becomes redundant picture-wise, so you could fill the entire bottom half of the page with blurb, instead of just the bottom right.  With regards to blurb, it needs to be well-written, succinct, and get the full message across, otherwise it would just be a waste of money.

    We can’t really read the blurb that’s on the above page examples, so can’t really judge what’s been written.  If it’s a case of having a one-page add that’s read by more people, but doesn’t really get the message across, and a 2-page spread that’s got a fuller message but read by fewer people, the first choice would really be a waste of all our money, to be honest.

    Here’s hoping we can get plenty more money in by the deadline.

  • Cookie

    Just thinking that if you did want to go with a one-page spread, the orange triangle with the logo in at the bottom left could go top right, if you need more room on bottom half. This would also have the advantage of the logo being more ‘visible’ .  It’s another rule of advertising that whatever is in the top two-thirds of a page gets more initial attention than the bottom third.

  • Jomaquettes

    The image of him sticking his fingers in his ears is really strong one and the overall layout (right) is good. It needs to say “NHS” on it more prominently though.

    It’s easy for campaigners to assume everyone knows what this is about, but not everyone will get it/recognise him – particularly when they are flicking through a newspaper at speed.

    It needs something like “Save the NHS” (hopefully phrased more originally!) in the large type. Also a very succinct description of why it’s threatened in the smaller print.

    Would “Lansley needs to listen” be a better tag-line? -”Won’t listen” implies we may as well give up?

  • Jomaquettes

    Consider using local papers as well. Ad space is cheaper (you may be able to get on the front page) and MP’s are more influenced by their own constituents – who can vote them out.

    Lib Dem backbenchers are the ones who can swing it if they decide to vote against.  Witney (Cameron), Sheffield (Clegg) and Cambridge (Lansley) are also important. Naming the local MP in each Ad would put direct pressure on.

  • Coolbeans_uk

    There is some strong pursuasive writing in bold type at the end of the left hand advert which combined with the right hand side will give a strong message.
    You could do more to make the advert more sensational.
    For me the most important thing is stopping the changes they’re trying to make to the NHS.

  • Cookie

    You could get quite a bit of blurb in the bottom third of a one-page ad, if you had 2 columns that each cover nearly half the page each, or 3 columns if you like.  I think black typing on pale grey or white is easier to read than white writing on black, so you could have smaller type if you had black type, and fit in more info.  If you look at some ads, they’re not made out to be posters, which is what your ads above look like.  Many ads have writing as small, or even smaller, depending on the typeface, than the typing for a normal newspaper article.

    I do like the white tagline on black though, it’s more eye-catching as a headline than black on white.

    Not sure that trying to go for the front pages of local papers is the way to go.  If you want a whole front page, to catch people’s eye, then you need to pay for a total of 4 pages usually, with one of those adverts that says ‘Your usual newspaper is inside’.  Plus, with local papers you may pay less money, but that’s because you’re only reaching tens of thousands of people, instead of millions in a national newspaper.  It would cost a lot more to advertise in the hundreds of local papers you would need to reach the same number of people. 

  • Wen

    Go here for an opportunity to submit a question to Andrew Lansley – by 4.30 today.

  • Busy Bee

     I prefer the ad with his fingers in his ears.  I can imagine a cartoon bubble saying: “LA, LA, LA, LA!”  The one with the headphones makes me wonder if he is listening to a recording of what people think.  The fingers in ears image gets the message across loud and clear that he is not listening.

  • Anonymous

     thanks, what you think we should ask him?

  • Anonymous

    Hi cookie, thanks to the really helpful advice.

    We’re working on the final ads today – once we have something I will post it up 

  • Anonymous

     Great idea! Are there any papers in particular you think we should focus on?

  • Anonymous

     the size of the ad will probably have to vary across each paper. As they all have different sizes available. Are there any other rules we should bear in mind?

  • Anonymous

     hi Neil, we definitely are taking all the views into account. We’re negotiating with the papers at the moment. It looks like we’ll have one full-page spread and a variety of other big sizes across four newspapers. over the weekend and lots of people voted on the Facebook page for which papers we should use, you can see the full results here: https://www.facebook.com/peoplepowerchange?sk=questions

    what in particular worries you about the content of the poster? What could we be changing?

  • Anonymous

    Hi  @658be8eb3f63f8679ad8fa0d48a98b38:disqus that’s a really interesting idea. What does everyone else think?

  • Flowboy

    Larger typeface for details (“95%..”etc) in bottom right? If the ad is not full page the small point size might suit the overall design/er artistically but won’t make the impact the message needs.  

  • Wen

     I’ve asked about what statutory regulation of providers will be in gov. proposals – I’m sick and tired of profiteers who are allowed to self-regulate!

    Another question that needs an answer is ‘ Why is there a need to remove ultimate responsibility from the Minister – the buck should always stop at the Minister’s desk – it is a National Health Service funded by tax-payers.’

  • Anonymous

    @5d538701451ce254589dd063df7820b8:disqus good point! I’ll pass that on to the designer 

  • Anonymous

    Hi Neil, yes we will be. lots of other people suggested we should look at other newspapers so which the quick poll which you can see on the Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/peoplepowerchange?sk=questions

    What you think we should focus next to make sure what you mentioned above doesn’t happen?

  • Glen

    There’s an overwhelming view in these comments that the focus of the current ads misses the mark and that the focus needs to be primarily on the NHS, seconadrily on the coalition not listening and not focussing squarely on Lansley.  I notice you’ve replied to comments about typeface etc but not to those highlighting the falws in thinking behind the advert (see most populart posts for a good summary of views!) – can you confirm that the ads are going to be changed markedly from these drafts?

  • Wen

     Agreed that there should be an appeal to YOU.  Each reader should be asking themselves ‘Why haven’t I been consulted?’   

  • Wen

    FT is reporting that the bill might have to be recommitted because iof the extent of the proposed changes.  This would be an extraordinary event for a flagship government bill.  Let’s increase the pressure and galvanise action with this campaign.

  • Wen

    Make it clear to your MP that you want an assurance that s/he will not support these proposals.

  • Richard

    Could you also advertise the NHS ‘Listening Exercise’ (sham though it is!) consultation? That way not only will poeple get in touch with you, they will aslo contribute to the consultation. If every person, who has signed 38 degrees’ petition/got in touch with their MP, were to get involved – the numbers would have to be published as part of the consultation.

    Please 38 degrees – will you do this. We’ve only got a week left till this consultation finishes.

  • Wen


    This is the link that takes you to the NHS Listening Exercise.  Four themes are identified and proposals described then you can add your comments.  Let’s give them our comments and show the strength of feeling about this headlong rush (without a mandate) to radically restructure the NHS.

  • John Whitehead

    I’m not sure that the proposed advert makes it sufficiently clear that the subject matter is the “reform” of the NHS. Surely that needs to smack one in the face?

  • NeilStacey

    Great work you are doing – I’ve sent a cheque in the post.
    I am not a graphic designer, but wonder whether the ad should emphasise some of the detail as well as the main message – should key phrases be bolder/ bigger? – like “95% of people …. etc” and/ or “1 in 5 people …”, or indeed the Observer quote “chief advisor tells health companies to prepare for big profits ….” or whatever it was……. in other words, I agree with John Whitehead below.

  • Neilstacey

    I think your suggestion about Cameron rather than Lansley is spot on. I hope 38 degrees are listening.

  • Kieran Gilchrist

    Perhaps a visual of the NHS crumbling or being broken or sold off would have more impact rather than another picture of an MP in a newspaper which will probably be overlooked by the majority. People should know that they are about to be robbed in broad daylight. Be a bit vulgar if that’s what it takes!

  • Dave

    Very focussed on Lansley – who most people won’t recognise. I suspect most people have never even heard of him

  • Zainab

    I think it might b good to have something about the NHS, which is more likely to catch people’s eye than Lansley. The majority of every day people probably don’t know who he is.

  • Jenn Murray

     I agree with all the comments that say make the emphasis on the NHS clearer. 

  • Peter nunn

    Good ad, but the text explaining what it’s about & what people can do shoule be larger & clearer, & there should be more emphasis on protecting the NHS from privitisation 

  • Tamsin

    I just came here to say that it needs to be clearly about saving the NHS and not overwhelmingly about Lansley, as many people do not know who he is. It looks like many people are saying the same thing!!

  • Colinann7

    Think should feature larger type on NHS, the focus of the campaign, and should somehow sound warning of dangers to it, rather than just ‘not listening’ focus.

  • Anonymous

    thanks @70ba1653461262f700cb4600f7143a3c:disqus  does anyone have any ideas how the adds could sound the alarm more?

  • Anonymous

    thanks Peter!

  • Anonymous

    thanks Tamsin

  • Anonymous

    thanks Jenn

  • Anonymous

    Thanks @9f8f62a7fcdbf82cc2c5519159111656:disqus do have any ideas what could catch people’s eyes more?

  • Anonymous

    thanks @82a59434f040f8629bdad9ba43cf2852:disqus that sounds like a great idea. What does everyone else think?

  • Anonymous

    thanks so much for sending a cheque in and for your really helpful feedback.

  • Anonymous

    thanks John. Does anyone have any ideas how we could make it clearer?

  • Anonymous

    great point Richard and thanks for sharing the link Wen!

  • Anonymous

    thanks for sharing that link Wen. You can also find and contact your MP here: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/contact-your-mp

  • Anonymous

    @24ed65369540adbe62a9bd798732f585:disqus do you have the linked article so we can have a look?

  • Anonymous

    hi @07938f04036141a36cdbaa41e1d32151:disqus thanks for the message. we are working on the ads with quite a tight timeframe so are not going to be able to totally redesign them. To make sure we get them in the papers this week we have to start getting them improved in principle last week. That means that we can change some parts of the ads but not all. I totally see this isn’t ideal and next time we do them it would be better to give more chance the feedback and for other people to submit designs and see which ones are most popular. Having said that we are definitely looking at changing the ads in light of all the comments – however we also have to bear in mind that over 5000 people have donated the ads and lots of them have sent him very very supportive messages – it is tricky to weigh up the strength of feeling on either side. If you in any suggestions on how we could do this better next time please do share them.

    Thanks also for pointing out how to view most popular comments – I haven’t seen that and had just been working through comments gradually. It will make it much easier to reply to the most popular comments

  • Wen


    This is free-access material but you might find you have to register if the link doesn’t work.

  • Wen

    It still doesn’t scream out that this is about saving the NHS.  One quick glance as the page is turned and that is the message that should leap from the page and make busy people stop and read.  Perhaps reduce size of picture and make space across top for ‘SAVE THE NHS’ or even superimpose slogan across his forehead. 

  • Fimather

    (NHS – No Health Sale.)  In business when there’s a sale on in a shop they advertise by saying when it’s gone it’s gone!  Could the adds somehow reflect this as in a Great Sale add. Just a thought….  

  • Wen

    Finding space:  We don’t need to see Lansley’s collar and tie so that could be trimmed out.

  • Glen

    The ad is still missing the mark as far as I’m concerned – unless people know who Lansley is, they will not realise this is anything to do with the NHS.  The majority of people you are (or should be) trying to target will not necessarily know that Lansley not listentning = end of NHS.  The letters NHS with something like ‘act now to save’ before them need to be in the biggest type on the add.  There’s also still no mention of how to actually get involved in the listening exercise.
    I support the principle of these ads, but think they will be a complete waste of money unless they change significantly.  Surely its better to delay for a couple of days and get it right than spend £50K on a missed opportunity?

  • Ritamauri

    The ads must make people realise that the Health and Social Care Bill removes the Secretary of State’s legal duty to provide the health service in England.  It also removes crucial powers from the Secretary of State to direct NHS bodies and providers. 

    GP commissioningg consortiums are being given general powers to charge for services, and decisions about which services remain part of the NHS are also being handed over by the Secretary of State to consortiums. 

    The Bill explicitly authorises the creation of surpluses from the patient care budget which then can be paid to staff and shareholders in the form of bonus schemes.  These surpluses can be generated by selecting profitable patients or services, denial of care, or reductions in staff terms and conditions,the responsibility for which will be transferred to corporate bodies. 

    The Bill removes the existing framework of the NHS and replaces it with a framework for a commercial system of health.  

  • Harbro

    It’s missing the point — how the government’s plans for the NHS mean more healthcare provided by private companies — with the obvious lack of transparency that that entails, more bureaucracy and inefficiency and an end to the universal service providing treatment based on clinical need most people support and have grown up with.

    I hate to say so at this late stage but I think the strapline should be something like:

    Can you afford to live without the NHS?

    Then something like:
    The government thinks you can

    The government is cutting NHS staff and services. Its plans will mean an end to care when you need it, regardless of ability to pay.

  • Hctinley

    I wonder how many people know who Lansley is and have ever heard of the ‘listening’ exercise. More emphasise of the NHS itself might be wise.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks @24ed65369540adbe62a9bd798732f585:disqus 

  • Anonymous

    thanks Paul!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Martin! The designer has tried to take that on board and we have posted up a new design (see above). What do you think? 

  • Anonymous

    Hi Edwina, thanks for the feedback. We weren’t able to find a way to put the hands over the ears. Sorry! Maybe next time!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Sarah, good point. We’ve still got a few more days to do this in. What does everyone else think?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the feedback @pilsbury:disqus 

  • Anonymous

    Thanks @55599127b74466769f13cbcb9a55e52d:disqus . It’s amazing – over 5,000 people have chipped in a staggering £80,000 already! So we will be able to get bigger ads in more papers. I’ll update the blog tomorrow with all the details of the papers once it’s all confirmed! Thanks so much for your donation. 

  • Anonymous

    Hi @9da299a223ab4c29089ba539ce733fc6:disqus . Thanks for all the feedback and for donating. I’ve posted a new version above (with a more positive banner). Really glad you like the images! What do you think of the latest version?

  • Cookie

    It’s still too focussed on Lansley and not on the NHS.  People don’t even know what the listening exercise is, and the fact that he’s being so underhanded about it. Too much space being taken up by the headline & tagline.

    Needs more explanation as to what is really going on, in my opinion.

  • Anonymous

    Hi @9da299a223ab4c29089ba539ce733fc6:disqus - it’s always tricky to get everything we want into an ad with such a small amount of text available. We’ve tried to take everyone’s feedback onboard (both from here, from Facebook and from emails that got sent in) and have come up with a new version which is above. Would be great to hear what you think of that. 

    It’s been amazing to see all the donations come in! We smashed through the first target of £30,000 in a few hours! 

  • Cookie

    The ad no longer has the proportions of a newspaper page – unless that is your intention, to try and get a cheaper ad, don’t see why you have simply made the headline longer and the orange tagline fatter, seems to be wasting the space. Seems to be also making life harder to get the ad accepted by newspapers if you take it out of the proportions of a newspaper page.
    If the ad doesn’t get the message across that it’s about saving the NHS in the headline – plenty of suggestions below – then it will just be a waste of money.  People just won’t get it.

  • Anonymous

    hi @ef18d11b178766b5c9b900f01df25bd1:disqus the ad above is just one version. We had to vary the size quite a lot for different newspapers because of the space available at the last minute. The new version above is designed to be the height of a full newspaper page but not the full width. 

  • Anonymous

    @ef18d11b178766b5c9b900f01df25bd1:disqus good point. The NHS got removed from the background. We’ll put it back in and post the new version later on tonight.

  • Cookie

    To be honest, Johnny, I think you are looking at the overall design of the page too much, as you’ve split the page into thirds - do you come from a design background? The overall design isn’t so important here in terms of balancing the elements, as having all the relevant info in a catchy way.  When people view a newspaper page, they look at the top two thirds, whatever is in there will catch the eye, but you don’t need such a big headline & tagline – the way they were in top right picture was better and bold enough to get the attention.  When people have a newspaper in their hands, they don’t view the page in the same way as they would a poster, for example, so the design of the whole page becomes a bit more redundant.  You need to devote more space to explaining the way things are going with Lansley, to really get people clued up & motivated.  It’s fine to have the blurb starting above the bottom third, if you want to, as long as there are enough strong elements to catch the eye in the top two thirds, or half as you had it originally.  But you need to get something in the headline about the NHS.

    Maybe have the headline saying ‘Lansley isn’t listening about the NHS’ stretching over two lines, then ‘Together we can make him’ over one line in the orange.  You’d then have space to explain a bit more about the way things are below that.

  • Cookie

    Just meant to say, you’d need to have the headline in white right across the page, as you do directly above or top left, if you want to make it longer as per my suggestion to have it reading, ‘Lansley isn’t listening about the NHS’.

  • ChrisG

    This ad started out as an attempt to expose the sham ‘listening’ exercise, hence the use of the strong Lansley image which is, for that purpose, a very good image.  However, it also assumes as a basic premise, that people know who Lansley is and are therefore aware of the listening exercise in the first place and are also aware as to why it is necessary.  It is speaking to the already converted.
    What seems to be worrying many who have donated to this ad, is that it is not just the sham listening exercise that needs to be tackled and that something should be done to address a lack of effective publicity in general about the real risks to the NHS, which does not seem to be reaching a large enough audience. 
    The question is therefore how much can/should this one ad address?  How many ‘messages’ can be effectively included in one advert which only has seconds to catch the attention of readers, however big it is.
    If this advert is aimed at those already sufficiently ‘in the know’ about the listening exercise and Lansley then it does the trick if it encourages those people to get more involved.
    However this ad, as it stands, will not reach those still blissfully unaware of the risks to the NHS.  If this is to be its intention, effectively a revised brief, it does not work. 
    Whatever the outcome, don’t try to put too much into this one page.  Keep the message simple and clearly defined and firmly based upon the desired outcomes which should be clear in your mind.  Trying to do too much with one page can end up doing nothing well enough, risking a waste of money. 
    Less is always more and visuals are far more powerful then words. 

  • Cookie

    I agree and disagree with Chris G, the visual of Lansley with his fingers in his ears will catch attention.  But then once you have the attention, you need to give people substance, otherwise that really will be a waste of money.  The advert really falls between two stools as it stands.  Without mentioning the NHS it won’t catch the attention of the man in the street, as so many of us have been saying.  It may only catch the attention of the people who know who Lansley is, and that means preaching to the converted.

    With too little time to make major changes to the ad, like replacing Lansley with a better known figure like Cameron, we have to work with what we’ve got, so that means emphasising the NHS in some way, because then it may ‘convert’ some people to read the ad. 

    But then, why can’t we have more substance, such as in the email we got to explain the need to donate our cash?

    Johnny, why does the writing below the orange tagline have to be white writing on a black background?  Please sacrifice your ideas about design on this occasion.  As a chap mentioned below, too much black on a newspaper page will be too heavy, and as I explained earlier, black on white is much easier to read than what you have there, so you can make the typeface smaller, I think newspaper editors use point 11 or 12, which is perfectly readable if the typing is in black on a white background.  You could make the background pale grey if you think it suits better.  Then you could explain more to Joe Public.

  • Cookie

    And why not make a simple change if at all possible, of putting the 38 degrees logo top right, which means you’ll free up more space at the bottom.  More space also freed up if you sacrifice the white line to the right of the blurb, why note break up the space by having two columns at the bottom of the page? ‘Join in here, etc’ could still be across the whole page if you want to make it prominent.

  • Cookie

    I also think you need to take a leaf out of the newspapers’ book and make it more sensational. The ad is too nicey nicey.  We have to fight fire with fire, plus if you put some info in about what Lansley has been doing behind the scenes and doing to stop the public getting into the consultations, some of the papers may pick up on it, and run their own story, and may approach 38 degrees for their angle on the story, so 38 degrees may just get some FREE PUBLICITY out of it.

    Adverts are meant to draw people in, don’t just think that people will only spend a second or two on it if you make it sensational. Make saving the NHS prominent to draw people in, then go for the jugular with the dirt on Lansley, how he really isn’t listening, and people will want to spend time to keep on reading to how to join in.

    Otherwise people will only skim over it as it stands.  ‘Lansley isn’t listening’ – so what, who is he anyway?.  ’95% of the British public don’t know how to get involved with Health Minister Andrew Lansley’s ‘listening exercise’.  So what – what’s the listening exercise anyway, it doesn’t concern me.  That’s what people will be thinking, and in the busy world we live in, in advertising you have to do more than that to keep people reading.

    You have to get people listening to ‘WII FM’ – an acronym for ‘What’s In It For Me?’

    Putting the NHS in the headline would get attention, then people will be drawn to read the blurb below.  One more tip, people are drawn to the word ‘you’ in advertising, it’s the WII FM principle – you have to spell it out for them.  Have another read of the blurb I wrote up below, to see what I mean.  Get people’s goat about the fact that Lansley wants to stop ‘you having your say’. – ‘Join in here’ is more wishy-washy for advertising purposes.

  • Jan

     Agree with many of the comments that NHS needs more prominance & that many won’t recognise Lansley. You need a simple image to get the danger that the NHS is in across. Can I suggest a heart rate monitor, with NHS forming lefthand part of the display going into a flatline & end blip. The tagline could read ‘Too late to get a second opinion if this happens. Act now to save the NHS’.

  • Cookie

    Johnny, I have just read the comments you left for me, firstly,  just about everything I’ve written is adman’s rules, and secondly, if you’re not going to mention the government’s cut-off date for the listening exercise, why does the ad campaign have to be so last-minute?  If you’re purely advertising the web-based petition, then surely we have a bit more leeway as regards collecting signatures, timewise, as you’re not going to be able to present the petition before the cut-off date for the listening exercise.

     On the other hand, Listening exercise responses have to be submitted by 31st May, so if you got ads in the Saturday press, that gives people the weekend to do something about it. SOme people have suggested putting some details of how to join in the listening exercise, which may at the end of the day make the government sit up and listen a bit more than a web-based petition.  The email address for the listening exercise is  nhsfutureforum@dh.gsi.gov.uk
    Delaying the ad until the weekend would also give time for a re-design of the ad, I like what Jan has just suggested, BTW.  I’m still not sure that Lansley is a strong enough figure to carry the ad campaign.

  • Cookie

    BTW, the ‘Like’ function is not working on this page for me.  It may not work for other people either if that’s the case.

  • cwilliams

    I agree that NHS needs to be displayed more prominently.  I really don’t think people will take much notice of the ad as it stands now.  I think it should focus more on the damage that will be done to the NHS if these reforms are allowed to go through.

  • Louise_macartney

    Yes I agree, it needs a large NHS showing prominently…. and yes i agree with Cookie’s comments… I hadn’t even heard of Lansley til I got the 38 degrees email, he isn’t instantly recognisable, and SOME info about how to get involved with the listening exercise would be MASSIVELY beneficial.

  • Stephen

    Too subtle. People don’t care that “Lansley isn’t listening”. People do care that “The NHS is being destroyed”. You don’t even mention the NHS until deep into your text, which means that if people don’t see NHS in the first 5 seconds they scan the advert they are gone, an opportunity to influence them wasted.

    Put NHS in the large print at the top of the advert, along with word like “damage” and “destroy”, for example: “Don’t let them damage the NHS”. That WILL get people’s attention. “Lansley isn’t listening” is clever but will go over most people’s heads. The average reader (by definition) has an IQ of 100. So, make the message simple and straightforward. Do not imply things (Lansley isn’t listening doesn’t say anything, its all implication). Do say things (the consequences of not listening are “damage to the NHS”).

  • Glen

    I really hope the overwhelming majority of comments on hre highlighting that this advert needs re-working have been taken on board.  It’s not just a case of putting the NHS logo back into the background, the whole focus of the ad needs to be markedly changed.  Forget “lansley isnt listening” and get that massage across in the simplest language possible that this is about stopping them from wrecking the NHS – that is what this is about isn’t it??



  • http://www.forengland.org Wyrdtimes

    Why didn’t the ad point out that coalition “reforms” of “the NHS” apply to only England?

    Health is a devolved issue. The only place the British government can influence health is in England.

    Unfortunately British MPs are more than happy to have the NHS presented as a UK wide
    issue as it lets them ignore the West Lothian Question, the England
    question and the underfunding of English services. 38 Degrees should be
    pointing all that out as it is a fundamental part of the problem.

  • EvaB

    Obviously Johnny Chatterton isn’t listening either – the vast majority of comments below said that “NHS” needs to be much more prominent in the ad, but this hasn’t happened.  So what was the point of asking for comments?

  • Dr Jill Austin

    I helped fund this advert and I am extremely disappointed.

    I agree with all the comments below that the impending sale of the NHS to private companies was nowhere near prominent enough.  The ad looks great, but as has been mentioned many times before on this page, very few people know who Lansley is.  Style has prevailed over substance and we have missed a great opportunity.

    If 38 degrees really cared about the NHS they would have included a link to the NHS Future Forum website. Pointing out that 95% of the British public don’t know how to access the listening exercise is useless without then informing them how to do it.

    38 degrees might think they can save the NHS alone, but that is pompous and arrogant.
    If we are to save the NHS, it will require more than a few newspaper ads and a petition.

    This advert smacks of self-publicism, and I will not be donating any more money to 38 degrees.

  • Cookie

    I have to agree, 38 degrees are being a bit naive in thinking that the government are going to pay more attention to a web-based petition than to their own channels, and any future publicity should include info on the NHS Future forum website.  Several of us suggested putting some such info in the ad, but it was ignored.

    I have suggested elsewhere that the way to salvage this situation is to try and generate free publicity by 38 degrees head office getting in touch with each and every national newspaper’s editorial division and hand them a good story on a plate – editors like getting stories as their teams are often very busy.

    The story here is that Lansley et al are gagging the nation and biasing the listening exercise, and the petition jumps on the back of that story, and having read your comment, Dr Jill, I think any approach to a newspaper editor should also ask them to publicise the NHs Future website, as that will really make our voices more counted, if the government gets it directly, and not through a secondary agent, like 38 degrees.  38 degrees like to say that they were responsible for getting the government to listen over the forests, but that belies the fact that there were other, and bigger, campaigns involved in that exercise.

    If 38 degrees really wants to be a big player in getting the government to listen, head office need to sacrifice some of its self-publicity, like you say, and be more than an online petition group.  Online petitions are not the best way to tap into opinions, and are distrusted by those in power, as people can double up their signatures, for example, by giving different names & email addresses.

    I think the team at the top are also being naive with the idea that they will just get publicity next Tuesday when they hand in the petition to Lansley.  That’s just a non-story and won’t attract attention.  The real story here is Lansley’s underhandedness as attested by nurses on this website being invited to one of the ‘listening events’ only to find they were only being asked to comment on how the changes wanted by the government could improve things.

  • Cookie

    I agree with Dr Jill Austin below that the whole exercise has been a waste of time – too hurried, and good advice ignored.  I won’t be giving any more money, either, unless firstly 38 degrees commits to a more democratic process itself, and secondly gives account as to where the money has gone on this campaign – I got 4 out of the 5 papers to have a look, and can’t believe we’ve spent even half of the money – most of the adverts were on the left hand page, which is always cheaper than on the right hand page, because people give the left hand page less of their attention, and some of the ads were less than a whole page. There must be enough of the money left to run another, better campaign in the next few days.

  • Glen

    How do you unsubscribe to emails from 38 degrees?  A completely hypocritical organisation condeming the government for sham listening exercise then completely ignoring the suggestions of the vast majority on here who have funded their self advertising.

  • Tory hater

    He cant change his mind other wise will let down the private company;s who bank roll the evil Tories

  • tory hater

    Go and join the tory party as you seem to love them. Even though the country is falling a part.

  • Cookie

    He’s not saying he loves the Tories, just like many of us think the ad campaign has been bungled.

  • Anonymous

    Hi @35ab82fe2522c01fe91a1d5f07f61443:disqus you can send your MP a message here: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/NHS-email-MP

  • Anonymous

    Hi Glen, really sorry to hear you think lots of suggestions were ignored. We did try to incorporate as many as possible but it wasn’t possible to take account of all of them because of the limited time. What do you think we could do to improve the process in future? 

    If you’d like to unsubscribe from emails you can do so here: http://38degrees.org.uk/unsubscribe

  • Anonymous

    Hi Eva, thanks for the message. We read over all the comments and did take as many as possible on board. The final version did have the NHS more prominently in the background. The version above is a draft – not the final one that made it in to the papers.