Lords hear evidence on behaviour change

06 December 2010

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee on Tuesday 7 December took evidence from representatives of Unilever, advertising agency M&C Saatchi and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) as part of their inquiry into Government behaviour change interventions.

The session saw the Committee asking the witnesses on whether voluntary agreements between government and industry on behaviour chance could ever be effective and how they would respond to criticism of this approach by groups such as the BMA.

The evidence session came following the publication of the Government’s White Paper on public health which announced the establishment of the Public Health Responsibility Deal to work collaboratively with business and the voluntary sector. The Deal relies on voluntary agreements with industry to promote healthy eating and drinking as opposed to the use of regulation.

Also giving evidence to the Committee that day were representatives of charities Drinkaware, Groundwork, an environmental regeneration charity, and Swanswell who help people who suffer as a result of alcohol and drug abuse.

The second session with the representatives of the three charities saw the Committee ask the witnesses for examples of successful behaviour change initiatives, how the success of such schemes can be effectively measured and what Government can learn from the sector’s experiences.  They also asked about the role of the third sector in sitting alongside businesses on the Government’s Responsibility Deal Networks to help tackle problems like smoking and irresponsible alcohol consumption.

The full details of the witnesses were:

Rory Sutherland, President of the IPA and Chairman of the Oglivy Group
Tim Duffy,  Chief Executive, M&C Saatchi
Richard Wright, Director of Sensation, Perception and Behaviour, Unilever

Chris Sorek, Chief Executive, Drinkaware
Tony Hawkhead, Chief Executive, Groundwork
Debbie Bannigan, Chief Executive, Swanswell

Image: iStockphoto 

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