"Don't bring me back!" - Puppets highlight the hazards of personal food imports
29 July 2008
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has launched a new public information film (filler) to highlight the dangers of bringing illegal food products into the United Kingdom.
This is part of an ongoing joined-up public awareness campaign across Defra, HM Revenue and Customs and the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
Produced by the Central Office of Information's (COI) Moving Image team, the filler highlights the risks of bringing certain food products into the UK from countries outside the European Union.
The creative features a returning holidaymaker who is stopped as she passes through the UK border, her suitcase is opened and much to her embarrassment out pops a singing puppet cheese!
The cheese is joined by a host of other banned or restricted foodstuffs including singing sausages, a chorus of prawns, a mango, a lobster and a pot of honey, who all join in with the musical message "Don't bring me back!"
One-by-one the puppets are confiscated by UK Border Agency officials, but not before advising travellers that they should check the rules before travelling and will experience delays and could also face prosecution if they bring illegal food products into the UK.
The filler is targeted at all travellers entering the UK from countries outside of the EU and directs people to Defra's helpline and website for further information.
COI Producer Lynette Kyme said:
"This is an important campaign that aims to increase levels of awareness and understanding of the laws around bringing food into the UK from countries outside the EU.
"The filler communicates a serious message in a light-hearted and amusing way, which will appeal not only to adults but also to children."
Caroline De Ville, Marketing Campaign Manager at Defra added:
"It's important that we encourage behaviour change amongst travellers. The rules are there to reduce the risk of diseases and pests entering the UK, which can have a devastating effect on farming. Some products may also contain harmful residues or contaminants which are unsafe for public health."
COI teamed up with Director Matt Carter and Tim Tyrell at Feel Films to create the filler. Rushes' Producer Emma Watterson handled post production, while Colourist Adrian Seery graded the piece with visual effects by VFX Artist Brian Carbin.
To view a copy of the filler visit www.coitvfillers.co.uk (you need to register to this service).
For COI media enquiries or images, please contact Suzanne Halls or Rhona de la Mer at COI on 020 7261 8327 or 8306.
Notes to editors
About COI public information films
Public information films are unique to government. COI has used fillers to communicate important messages to the nation for over 60 years, from simple messages telling children how to cross the road through to more hard-hitting information about how to survive a nuclear bomb.
Originally shown in cinemas, the films are a brilliant example of social commentary, highlighting the important social issues of the day. With the growth of TV in the 1950s, the films became shorter and snappier, delivering memorable messages that are now household phrases such as 'Cough and Sneezes spread diseases', 'Don't Drink and Drive', and 'Clunk Click'. Today's films reflect current issues facing individuals, from climate change to how to shop safely on the Internet.
'Charley Says' was voted the nation's favourite public information film in a 2006 poll by BBC News Magazine Website in association with The National Archives and COI.
Examples of public information films from 1945-2006 can be found on The National Archives' website
Rushes is one of the world's leading post production and visual effects company based in Soho, London and is part of the Ascent Media Group Limited. The company famously posted Dire Straits' 'Money for Nothing' in 1985, the first video ever to be played on MTV and the legendary launch advert for the Ford Puma 'Easy Driver' featuring a composited Steve McQueen.
Rushes continue to work on ground breaking adverts, pop promos and feature film effects for world wide audiences. All press enquiries should be directed to Dori Halliday, Head of PR & Marketing at Rushes on +44 (0) 20 7437 8676. www.rushes.co.uk