National Social Marketing Centre


Behavioural insight update

Aiden Truss, Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 11:22

The Cabinet Office Behaviour Insights Team has just published its annual update for 2010-11. Though the press seems to have zeroed in on one recommendation around smoking, there are a variety of other developments worth looking at.

Trials and tribulations...

Aiden Truss, Monday, May 16, 2011 - 10:25

Writing at the weekend, Ben Goldacre yet again pointed out the disconnection between political good intentions and evidence-driven policy.

The dark side of nudging?

Aiden Truss, Monday, January 31, 2011 - 12:08

I had a call last week from someone concerned that our involvement in behaviour change at The NSMC was somehow directed toward something a bit more nefarious; along the lines of mind control over vulnerable target groups. I suppose that we were implicated in what you might call the 'dark side of nudging' due to the mention of psychological techniques being mentioned in the mainstream press in recent articles on behavioural nudges.

Nudging in the BMJ

Aiden Truss, Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - 12:08

Obviously, we at The NSMC are fascinated with all things behavioural. So, it's been interesting to see an alternative viewpoint to the government's nudging policies evaluated from a scientific rather than a knee-jerk libertarian perspective.

Published yesterday in the British Medical Journal, Judging nudging: can nudging improve population health? (available for free, though you'll need to register!), discusses the possible pitfalls of nudging as opposed to using legislation and whole population approaches.

How about this for a nudge?

Aiden Truss, Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 12:08

A British company, Hu2 Design has produced a range of simple stickers designed to remind people about the ecological cost of their electricity usage:

Energy stickers.

They can be applied around light switches and plug sockets to give a little visual reminder to switch off.

You can see the full range of 'Eco Reminders' here.

Was he pushed, or was he nudged?

Aiden Truss, Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - 12:08

The government's 'Nudge' unit is back in the news after the launch of their recent paper on behavioural insight. And yet again the press are putting a strange spin on what they are trying to achieve.

The Indie published an article a couple of days ago, subtly titled 'Nudge, nudge, wink wink... How the Government wants to change the way we think', which carefully couched its appraisal in terms such as 'psychological tricks' and 'mental techniques' in order to describe the aims of the unit. Of course it's eye-catching and headline-grabbing stuff, but it doesn't give the big picture and it does smack of lazy journalism.


Sign up for our newsletter

Latest News & Events

27 July 2015

The NSMC Level 4 Social Marketing Award Course

The next Level 4 Social Marketing Award Courses take place on the 14th and 15th October near Maidenhead.

The course is the only introduction to social marketing course accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and has been created from The NSMC's nine years' experience of delivering social marketing training courses with input from the accreditation unit at the CIM.

Read more

12 April 2015

NSMC is commissioned by SNV Netherlands to evaluate a water and sanitation programme in Cambodia

The NSMC has just won a major contract with the Netherlands Development Organisation SNV to evaluate one of their major water and sanitation programmes in southern Cambodia.  The WASH programme is aiming to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases through a combination of institutional capacity building and behaviour change interventions.  The evaluation project will begin in late April and will be conducting both qualitative and quantitative research in the southern part of the country to evaluate the impact of the WASH programme on rural communities.

Read more

24 February 2015

NSMC wins new project in Kent to develop a social marketing plan to reduce the number of expectant mothers who smoke

The NSMC has just been awarded a new project helping Kent County Council to develop a social marketing plan to reduce smoking rates in pregnant women.  We will be working over the next months to co-develop a behaviour change intervention that resonates with our target audience and helps them to quit smoking for good.  We will keep you informed of how this exciting project is developing throughout March and April. 

Read more

18 March 2014

Guest blog - Best practice for research programmes by Rachel Cope of MRUK

With a trend towards social marketing increasingly being used to inform policy and development of strategy, the need for actionable research has never been more important.  Here, I outline best practice to ensure that your research programmes can be put into action.

Read more

21 February 2014

The Chartered Institute of Marketing New Social Marketing Award


What do young people crossing railways safely, stopping smoking for October, voting for a country to join FIFA, not using accident and emergency services and enrolling more students on a course have in common?


Read more