Wales Illegal Tobacco: Changing Behaviours With An Integrated Campaign

For the Welsh Government’s Wales Illegal Tobacco campaign, Freshwater ran an integrated, nationwide campaign, developing an emotionally literate brand identity based on evidence-based behaviour change principles to reach target audiences and achieve quantifiable results.


4.9 Million



Search increase


Increase in reports

Targeting three key audiences – illegal tobacco users, retailers and the general public – the Welsh Government needed the campaign to reduce demand for illegal tobacco, increase awareness, diminish public acceptability, encourage reporting and improve public health. It was essential that the campaign communicate the health risks of illegal tobacco, particularly among children, and signpost available support for stopping smoking.

After creating a variety of digital assets, including carousel, animated and video content, Freshwater advertised on Facebook, Google Display Network (GDN), YouTube, Snapchat and Spotify. Welsh and English adverts were rotated on Welsh radio stations in two three-week bursts.

At the same time, Freshwater implemented a national poster campaign, placing four sheets at thirty Welsh sites and over 100 passenger panels on trains. During the three Six Nations home games, posters were shown at 300 sites in Principality Stadium washrooms. 150,000 campaign beer mats were distributed to 150 Welsh pubs.

Finally, Freshwater distributed a toolkit to over twenty local authorities, police forces, health boards, schools, further education colleges and higher education institutions.

Campaign adverts were seen or heard 4.9 million times on social media, raising mass awareness. GDN and Snapchat proved particularly effective, delivering 1.8 million and 1.6 million impressions respectively. Searches for ‘illegal tobacco’ increased by 200% across the campaign period in comparison to the previous year, while there was a 200% increase in reports to Crimestoppers.


Welsh Government

Related services

    • Marketing Strategy
    • Campaign Planning
    • Content Marketing
    • Design
    • Digital Marketing
    • Social Media Marketing


    • Public Sector