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Road safety campaign takes top prize at at awards

For immediate release
26 September 2003

Road safety campaign takes top prize at New Zealand advertising awards

The Land Transport Safety Authority's road safety ad campaign has taken out top prize for "sustained success" at the second annual Effie awards.

Organised by the Communication Agencies Association of New Zealand (CAANZ), the Effies recognise excellence in advertising effectiveness.

The LTSA's targeted road safety advertisements were singled out by the judges for changing society's attitudes towards speeding, drink-driving and the wearing of safety belts. "Our families drive more carefully because of these fine campaigns," the judges said in announcing their decision.

Before the ad campaign started in 1995 - in support of targeted on-road police enforcement - nearly 600 people were being killed on New Zealand roads per year, with half of the deaths attributable to speed, drink-driving and failure to wear safety belts.

Road deaths had fallen to 404 by last year, despite a 20% increase in traffic since 1995. The proportion of fatal accidents involving drink-driving fell from 40% to 25%, average open road speeds fell from 104.2km/h to 99.1km/h and seatbelt wearing rates rose from 86% to 92%.

LTSA Communications Manager Liz Taylor Read said the credit for the award should be shared by New Zealand Police, ad agency Clemenger BBDO and market research company Research International.

"There are literally hundreds of people who have put a huge amount of time and effort into making the road safety enforcement and advertising campaign such a success. We know the campaign is effective and we know it has helped to save lives."

The road safety ad campaign beat out competing entries from ASB Bank (the "Ira Goldstein" series), Frucor Beverages (the Just Juice "Taste of the Tropics" series) and the Ministry of Health (the "Like Minds, Like Mine" series de-stigmatising mental illness) in the sustained success category.

ENDS

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