OFFICIAL PROPAGANDA PRESS ADVERTISEMENTS POSTERS DISPLAY SCHEMES FILMS The planning and execution of the various campaigns which have been launched by the Government during the war have, with two exceptions, all been undertaken by special depart ments at the Ministry of Information. These exceptions are the Food Campaign and the National Savings Campaign. The Food Campaign has been the work of the Ministry of Food and that of National Savings has been entirely carried out by the National Savings Committee. The special departments at the Ministry of Information constitute what may be described as a large advertising department acting for the various Ministries concerned. These Ministries are in the position of directors of affiliated companies each with its own special problems which are passed to a central advertising department. The Ministry of Information employs the services of various advertising agencies, in precisely the same way as would the advertising department of a commercial concern. The result is collaboration between three sets of experts with technical and specialised knowledge. They pro duce the type of campaign suitable for the particular message to be conveyed to the public. In setting up and organising these publicity departments the Ministry of Information was faced with the problem of applying the technique of persuasion to a number of novel and perplexing conditions, for which no precedent existed. It had to launch appeals to the public during an abnormal period it had to sell ideas to the public just as vigorously as any commercial organisation with goods or services to put over but it had to retain throughout an air of authority and restraint as befitted a government department, without impoverishing the vigour of its appeal. By collaborating in turn with a number of advertising agencies it secured the services of expert practitioners in persuasion but the direction of policy was still under official control. The results have been, on the whole, remarkably forcible. The public has been informed (which is, one would suppose, the function of a Ministry of Information) and their ideas have been kept brightpessimism has been combated vital guidance, essential cautions, have been relayed from official quarters to every household, and there has been, as it were, a running commentary upon topical events, from rationing to intensified bomb ing, that has maintained a note of cheerfulness, without obtruding a schoolmarmishness, which might easily have marred the whole effect of the various campaigns. The media includes posters, booklets, leaflets and window-bills, extremely important, well- disseminated national Press advertising, including a certain number of specialised periodicals, such as women's and educational magazines, window display and B.B.C. announcements. 28

Modern Publicity en | 1941 | | page 32