Stop the Block campaign​

We helped United Utilities to raise awareness of what not to flush down drains or pour down sinks. through a multi-channel approach. ​


United Utilities


The multi-channel approach saw the same core campaign messaging being executed across a variety of mediums.

I’m delighted to say we’ve seen an increase in unprompted awareness of what not to flush/pour and campaign recall. A great set of results all in all!

-Catherine Booth, Marketing and Campaigns Manager, United Utilities

The challengeArrow

The challenge

Cavendish was asked to support United Utilities with launching a customer campaign – raising awareness and changing behaviours of what not to flush down drains or pour down sinks. 

Research showed that certain un-flushable items such as wet wipes, fats, oils and grease cause problems in pipes, drains and sewers – leading to major network blockages – and even flooding in homes, gardens and streets.



Using insights gathered from extensive research, we were able to identify our key target audiences and form our strategy and campaign creative. The communications had to grab attention and ‘shock’ – reflecting on the problem, showing the impact on customers and the wider environment, and then highlighting the solution to avoid such occurrences.

The communications were distributed across online and offline channels. From radio ads to OOH spaces, press ads, programmatic and YouTube ads, paid-for social media, as well as utilising digital screens on United Utilities’ vans – this multi-channel approach saw the same core campaign messaging being executed across a variety of mediums

Following a brand tracker survey with a sample of 1,000 North West customers, the results from the campaign were really positive, showing an improvement on previous campaign activity.

  • unprompted awareness of ‘what not to flush’ – 65% (up 1%)
  •  unprompted awareness of ‘what not to pour’ – 56% (up 7%)
  •  campaign recall – 34% (up 5%)

With specific focus on channels, radio and press ads proved with a recall of 44% and 43% respectively.

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