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Keep Britain Tidy


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Duration 30sec
Release Date 1975
Sponsor Central Office of Information for Keep Britain Tidy
Text version of this film





Over the last 50 years the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ campaign has encouraged the public to put rubbish in the bin.

This over-the-top film from 1975 ironically highlights the problems of litter in our ‘green and pleasant land’. In fact, the recording of William Blake’s ‘Jerusalem’ in this clip was performed by the late Sir Harry Secombe.

Initially highlighted as a problem by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, since 1955 the national anti-litter campaign ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ has been running. The International Tidy Man symbol that appears on many crisp packets, soft drink cans, chewing gum packs and many other everyday foodstuffs has been used to help deliver the anti-litter message since 1969.

In the past ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ campaigns have included celebrity endorsements from Abba, Morecambe and Wise, TV soap stars and even the international footballer Michael Owen. Although the campaign is over 50 years old, litter is still an important issue today. The current ‘Don’t be a gimp, Keep Britain Tidy’ cinema advert launched in 2005 targets 18-24 year-olds. This age group is the worst offender, responsible for dropping millions of tonnes of rubbish in Britain each year.


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