Food Standards Agency: Speak Up For Allergies

The Brief:

2 million people have a diagnosed food allergy. Young people are especially at risk of food allergy-related incidents, as older teens often don’t disclose allergies

Sometimes this is the fear of being 'different'; but our insight revealed than when 18-21 year olds are familiar with a restaurant or takeaway, they become complacent and have a false sense of security, despite the dangers posed by changes to on-going recipes and ingredients.

The Food Standards Agency wanted to change this behaviour – encouraging young people (18-21) to highlight their own allergies, and those of their friends, every time they ordered food, no matter the situation.

Strategy and Implementation:

We worked with Instagram and TikTok (a brand new channel for the FSA) lifestyle influencers – a more budget-friendly option than higher profile celebrity partnerships – where we could introduce the topic of food allergies to a new audience, and emphasise the importance of looking out for friends.

The core message: It’s Easy To Ask.

  • A – always ask about allergies
  • S – speak up
  • K – keep safe

The creative steered away from 'government-style' assets, and instead stylistically looked more like an advert for a takeaway, showing housemates ordering food, and each telling the restaurant about 'Jack's food allergy, illustrating a shared responsibility.

This 15-second video ran in a paid campaign across Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube targeting 18-24 years olds in NI, Wales and England, with localised accent voice-overs, and we worked with six Instagram and TikTok influencers across Northern Ireland, Wales, and England.

Partners including Just Eat and Uber Eats and Dig-In and NUS worked with us to reach university students.

We localised the campaign in NI (including localised voiceovers) via media partnerships with Cool FM and the Belfast Telegraph, and earned media placement of a case study.

A dedicated FSA webpage contained more information about the campaign and the importance of communicating and normalising allergies.


1/3rd of people aged 18-21
reached with our message
18-24 year-olds
viewing the video on
social media and YouTube
social media views
of campaign videos
social media engagement
increase in views on the FSA allergies web page
UK restaurant delivery partners received details of the campaign, through a partnership with Just Eat and Uber Eats
university students were reached through partnerships with Dig-In and NUS

"This campaign was led by insight … That enabled us to reach young people and, crucially, get them talking and take action, on a very tight budget. We were thrilled with the results and are looking forward to continuing our work in this area."

Catherine Clarke, Head of Marketing — Food Standards Agency


Food Standards Agency — Speak Up For Allergies

Young people are especially at risk of food allergy incidents, as older teens often don’t disclose allergies. We worked with social media lifestyle influencers to introduce the topic of food allergies to a new audience, and emphasise the importance of looking out for friends.

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We'd love to chat


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