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Scottish aquaculture group wins international PR award

Scottish Quality Salmon (SQS) has won a global award for its handling of the food scare triggered by an article in Science magazine last year.

November 9, 2005

Scottish Quality Salmon (SQS) has won a global award for its handling of the food scare triggered by an article in Science magazine last year.

Its ‘Scottish Quality Salmon - The Facts’ campaign beat off stiff competition from all over the globe to win the ‘Recovery From Crisis’ category in the 2005 International Public Relations Association’s Golden World Awards, awarded in London on Thursday 3rd November 2005.

The award, won jointly with SQS’s public relations agency Chrome Consulting, reflects the strength of the campaign in its defence of Scottish salmon farming and its effectiveness in not only restoring, but also increasing sales following the scare.

The campaign, funded by The Crown Estate, included intensive consumer and trade public relations, widespread distribution of consumer information and the high profile ‘Scottish Quality Salmon - The Facts’ advertising campaign, seen by some 25 million adults in the UK.

“This is a tremendous accolade for our communications team,” commented SQS chief executive Brian Simpson, “who worked both extraordinarily hard and highly effectively during the height of the scare and the months that followed. The ‘Facts’ campaign communicated the uniquely high standards on Scottish Quality Salmon members’ farms and reassured consumers that they could continue to enjoy one of their favourite and healthiest foods.  The 20% sales rise that followed suggests that this was extremely effective!”

The competition’s international jury, 44 senior practitioners from 26 countries, adjudicated on 239 entries in Istanbul and made 29 Awards in a variety of categories.  Criteria used by the jury included the competence and quality of each entry demonstrated in terms of research, planning, execution and evaluation, the clarity of messages, creativity and ethics, as well as local conditions in the country of origin.

Jury Chairman Sheila O’Sullivan of Australia said: "These programs devised successful communication activities for their local situation. The rest of the world can learn and benefit from these award winning campaigns.”

Scottish Quality Salmon is dedicated to improving the quality and sustainability of salmon farming in Scotland – from feed companies through to salmon smokers and processors – the whole production chain.  Membership now represents 65% of the tonnage produced by the Scottish salmon farming industry.

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