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Charity campaign wins agency award

Dogs Trust, formerly the National Canine Defence League, has won yet another award for its neutering campaign in Northern Ireland. The campaign won both Gold and Silver at the prestigious Marketing Agencies Association Worldwide Globe awards recently.

This is the fourth award Dogs Trust’s Northern Ireland neutering campaign has won following its recognition at the ISP Awards, PM Awards and Promotional Marketing Council of Europe (PMC) Awards earlier this year.

A leading integrated agency called 141 created the campaign for Dogs Trust which encouraged owners in Northern Ireland to have their dogs neutered in order to reduce the problem of stray dogs. The campaign offered owners free neutering for their dogs and the chance to enter a prize draw. It was promoted through a wide range of media including TV, radio, poster, field marketing and door drops and achieved a 350% increase in neutering during the campaign period.

Kerry Glover, Head of Campaigns, Dogs Trust, added: "We are delighted to have won yet another award for the neutering campaign. 141 developed a highly effective and fully integrated campaign which delivered fantastic results that far exceeded our targets."

141 group account director, Graeme Robertson, says: "Northern Ireland has the highest level of strays of any area in the UK and accounts for more than a third of all dogs put down.

Dogs Trust is opposed to the destruction of healthy dogs and believes that neutering is the best way to stamp out the problem at root. However, owners, particularly in low income households, are highly resistant to neutering on both cultural and cost grounds.

"Additionally, our research showed that this group is not responsive to marketing communications. This campaign has therefore been a great example of planning and creative working hand in hand to identify the right messages and creative to change entrenched views on neutering."

The creative team behind the work was creative director Jo Arscott, Sophie Kaye and Roland Hafenrichter.

Neutering is one of Dogs Trust’s most important campaigns. The charity promotes the benefits that neutering gives to owner and dog, including:

- Removing the risk of your dog contracting certain kinds of cancer, e.g, testicular and womb cancers
- It can reduce aggression and behavioural problems in male dogs
- It can stop embarrassing behaviour in male dogs!
- It can prevent male dogs chasing local female dogs and trying to escape at any given opportunity, running across busy roads and even jumping out of high windows
- Removing instances of ‘phantom pregnancies’ in bitches
- Preventing a bitch coming into season (on heat) twice a year. Each season lasts for about three weeks and with some dogs can be quite messy
- Removing the need for a bitch in season to try anything to escape and follow her instincts