public information films

You can view Public Information Films made by the Central Office of Information between 1945 and 2006. These are taken from our online exhibition

  • Video contentClimate Change – Tomorrow’s Climate – Today’s Challenge

    Climate Change – Tomorrow’s Climate – Today’s Challenge

    Opening with a wide-angled shot coming towards the earth from space, the voice over begins, “Life depends on the warmth of the sun being trapped by the layer of gases that surround the earth…” 1995 was a significant year for…

  • Video contentMental Health – Interview

    Mental Health – Interview

    We sit in on a young man’s interview…all is going well until he tells the interviewer that he used to suffer from depression. Embarrassingly the interviewer can’t cope with this, and proceeds to humiliate both himself and the man being…

  • Video contentGimme Five – Five A Day

    Gimme Five – Five A Day

    This advert made for the Department of Health symbolises the eating of ‘5 A Day’ portions of fruit and vegetables. The Government now recommends an intake of at least five portions of fruit or vegetables per person per day to…

  • Video contentInternet Shopping – Virtual Mall

    Internet Shopping – Virtual Mall

    Set in the virtual mall, a couple out shopping are advised to get real addresses and phone numbers to be safe when placing orders on the net. In recent years there has been a boom in online shopping, and this…

  • Video contentBullying – Tell Someone

    Bullying – Tell Someone

    Bullying of children is an issue that has seen much publicity in recent years. This film conveys the message that children who are being picked on should not ‘suffer in silence’ and should try to find the courage to tell…

  • Video contentThink Bubble – Adult & Child

    Think Bubble – Adult & Child

    This was a modern version of the ‘say no to strangers’ message, seen most famously in the Charley the cat animations of the1970’s. The film is targeted at very young children. A friendly bubble appears and says he’s a “very…

  • Video contentCrime Prevention – Hyenas

    Crime Prevention – Hyenas

    The ‘Hyena’ campaign was launched in 1992 – with the long-term objective of making car crime socially unacceptable. The campaign likens car criminals to scavenging hyenas, and encourages the public to collectively deter offenders. Offering simple advice, such as “remove…

  • Video contentFireworks – The Management

    Fireworks – The Management

    The comic duo Hale and Pace insist that “there is nothing more stupiderer… than messing about with fire works on the street!” According to the Explosives Act (1875) it is an offence to throw or set off fireworks in any…

  • Video contentElectricity Privatisation – Breakfast

    Electricity Privatisation – Breakfast

    From the 1980s many formerly state-owned industries in the United Kingdom were privatised. Initiated by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Government, privatisation intended to reduce central government’s role on the national economy. British Aerospace was the first large industry to be auctioned…

  • Video contentAIDs Monolith

    AIDS Monolith

    In 1987 the British Government launched a major public information campaign with the slogan “AIDS: Don’t Die of Ignorance”. A leaflet about AIDS was also delivered to every household in the UK, with the advice – “Anyone can get it,…

  • Video contentSmoker Of The Future

    Smoker Of The Future

    In Britain there has been a history of innovative anti-smoking campaigns. Recent adverts have featured smokers with fat dripping from their cigarettes to reinforce the link between smoking and heart disease. This 1985 film uses futuristic images and music that…

  • Video contentDrug Misuse – Dummy

    Drug Misuse – Dummy

    Heroin abuse became a high-profile problem in the 80s as anti-drug messages began to appear in fictional programming. The troubled character Zammo, who appeared in the popular BBC series Grange Hill, became perhaps the most famous heroin user for the…

  • Video contentClose To The Edge

    Close To The Edge

    This 1980s update of the Green Cross Code uses vibrantly coloured film, and a variation on the Grandmaster Flash track ‘The Message’, which tells us: “John was a fool who didn’t act cool. He walked on out, he broke every…

  • Video contentRabies Advice

    Rabies Advice

    The British Isles may have been free of rabies for many decades, but abroad the disease presents a hazard to anyone oblivious to the dangers. This is the key message in the 1983 animation that advises travellers what to do…

  • Video contentStupid Git, John Altman

    Stupid Git, John Altman

    Think before you drink before you drive. This film features a youthful John Altman. Altman went on to earn fame as “Nasty” Nick Cotton in the BBC soap opera East Enders. The film was part of a Christmas campaign to…

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