Hastings Council’s anti-dog-poo campaign

Hastings Borough Council is taking a hard line on the owners of dogs that foul the streets and pavements of the historic seaside town – and their graphic poster campaign is causing a bit of a stir…

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Hastings Borough Council is taking a hard line on the owners of dogs that foul the streets and pavements of the historic seaside town – and their graphic poster campaign which launched earlier this month is causing a bit of a stir…

Let’s face it, no one likes to see dog poo (or any kind of poo) on their doorstep or on their street. In Hastings, the local council has launched a campaign to encourage people to pick up after their dogs and also to encourage members of the public to report dog owners that let their pets foul public areas.

“Bag it. Bin it. Or get fined”, is the hard line of the campaign and a series of posters and car stickers run lines that all begin with “Oi!” followed by: “Sort your s**t out!”, “We’re not taking your s**t any more!” and also, “Have you got s**t for brains?”.

The campaign was designed by local Hastings design agency, Wave, and so far consists of fliers, posters and stickers. The posters are also available to download and print from the council website which means residents supporting the campaign can put the posters in their windows – something which is proving popular with Hastings residents, according to Caroline Kelly, senior communications officer at Hastings Borough Council.

However, the use of the word “shit” in the campaign has, predictably, upset some locals who consider the ads to be unnecessarily offensive. “For the most part we’ve had a very positive response,” Kelly tells us, “and supportive comments have far outweighed any complaints we’ve had. I think people have been shocked but it I believe it’s one of the top five key topics that we get asked to do something about every single year, and the councillors testify to this when they go out canvassing on people’s doorsteps. We’re following the campaign up with a strong enforcement message and have prosecuted several people in the last week for dog fouling offences, letting our local press know via press releases.”

Councillor Phil Scott also recently defended the use of foul (pun intended) language. “Yes, these posters are hard-hitting and yes they make you look twice but we want the small minority of irresponsible dog owners to be very aware that we will not tolerate this behaviour,” he said. “If you are caught failing to clear up after your dog, you will be fined [up to £1000]. It’s as simple as that. The vast majority of residents we’ve talked to are behind our campaign.”

Find out more about the campaign at hastings.gov.uk/dogmess

  • Worth a try, unfortunately it seems that other approaches don’t work. I would rather read the w**d than tread in it.

  • Pretty funny. I feel they will be more effective at getting people talking about the issue rather than acting on it.

  • Zuko

    I like it but understand how some people could be offended. Perhaps they could have made more of the fact that it’s far more preferable to see the word than the actual dog drops.

    Also, minor gripe, but the lower case ‘i’ in ‘Oi!’ is very odd.

  • It is harsh but would help in keeping the city clean … good

  • I LOVE THIS! I alway spick my dogs poo up and it makes me mad when others don’t!
    Think this is a bloody looking great ad!


  • Love it…
    Confident, Witty & Unafraid.

    Well done Hastings… more please :)

  • trapper

    “the lower case ‘i’ in ‘Oi!’ is very odd.”…. All the typography is perhaps subject, look at that ‘O’ and ‘R’ and ‘G’… and the letter spacing, word spacing… and couldn’t the asterix’s in SHIT have been dropped to centre on cap height… and do you need a full point after ‘Anymore’ ? Or perhaps word spacing rather than full points after ‘IT’. Having a contact telephone number you can read might help people to report incidents?

    Around here, people bag it but don’t have bins to put it in, or the bins don’t get emptied and overflow!

  • At last. A campaign that expresses what we all collectively feel about this problem.
    Very brave of Hastings Council to go with such direct and challenging creative.
    Nice and simple.

  • Straight to the point. And very strong.

    Nice work.

  • Skipper

    Well, at least it’s talking to the owner rather than the dog. Not too sure about that R though.

  • Straight to the point. And very strong.

    Nice work.

  • its just a phone

    tower omelettes wins with their anti fly postering campaign.

  • ruthlessrufus

    brilliant finally a council that isn’t afraid to say what we all feel.
    WELL DONE Hastings for growing a pair!

  • Dan

    VERY effective, I love it!

    It’s great to see a Council with the conviction to run with such a direct and, I think, humorous campaign (unless you’re one of the embarrassed people who lets your dog s**t in the street). I’m no expert but you can contract some seriously NASTY diseases from dog poo.

    Granted, there may be a few people taken aback with the use of the word s**t, however I bet it would be one of the first expletives they blurt out if they ever stepped in any – especially being by the seaside when it’s likely sandals or flip flops may be being worn!

    In all seriousness though – well done – an important issue delt with with the seriousness it deserves. Power to the (nice) people (who don’t mind the odd swear word!).


  • Excellent work, simple, to the point, but effective. We need this kind of campaign in London, the streets around Queen’s Park (where I live) is an assault course.

  • Excellent work, simple, to the point, but effective. We need this kind of campaign in London, the streets around Queen’s Park (where I live) is an assault course.

  • trapper

    Now all we need is a similar campaign for cat owners…

  • what a load of S**T!

    only joking. I like the approach here. Sure, things like the typography could be better, but in terms of a design which will get a point across, it’s great. Well done Hastings Council for buying in to the idea rather than being scared off by it. I often produce work for public sector clients and find they tend to go for the ‘safe’ option more often than any other client sector. I’ll be keeping this on file in an effort to pursuade some future clients to step out of their comfort zone (and not into a pile of S**T).

  • Dan

    Pardon the pun, but I think the comments about the typography are a bit ‘anal’!

    It communicates the message clearly and effectively to ‘Joe Public’.

    Just relax – but no too much as you might s**t yourself!

    PLUS – when was the last time you phoned up to report a dog turd?!


  • Lila

    I think it’s genius!

  • Charlie Tait

    The dogs b*ll*cks.

    I echo the comments praising the council for a brave approach that won’t fade into the generic noise so often created for councils. Although I am in two minds as to whether the fairly aggressive/confrontational ‘Oi, HAVE YOU GOT S**T FOR BRAINS’ is taking it too far. There is a slightly different feel to this one, bordering on unconstructive insult rather than a constuctive message drawing attention the fines/crack down.

    It does remind me of the rebranding of Envirotech – a (human) waste management company – to Serious** and their slogan ‘Taking care of **it.’ I think it was Elmwood who handled that project a few years back and it was a Design Council case study for the Designing Demand programme.

  • These are great! I’ve never seen any of the ads and I live in Hastings…I must be too busy trying not to step in any pavement poo!

  • trapper

    “Pardon the pun, but I think the comments about the typography are a bit ‘anal’!”

    Which is why there is so much SHIT about!

    Most designers today wouldn’t recognise or understand typography if it bit them in the arse! Let alone stood in it! Is this a design, ‘creative’ magaxzine and comment(s) or just ‘I like it’ nonsense?

  • Good on them for making this bold and controversial. Can you imagine how hard it must have been to get this approved through local council.

  • trapper

    If design and typography don’t matter,

    Why not print any of this out in Arial (someone save us) on a single A4 sheet of paper and simply pin it up…?

    Let your Dog shit in front of your own house

    Dog Owners – No Dog Shit

    Please No Dog Shit

    This Beach May Contain Dog Shit

    This Park May Contain Dog Shit

    Beware of the Dog Shit

    Dog Walkers – Please pick up after your dog and keep on lead. Attention Dogs – Grrr, bark, woof. Good Dog

    WHOA, Pick up after your dog, children at play

    Children Put Anything in Their Mouths

    So now as a profession are we congratulaing clients on ‘purchasing’ (buying into) good concepts but dubious design? While everything else around us is mediocre and acceptable?

    It’s all Blair’s fault, everything else was. (Cool Britannia)

  • I like the boldness of the campaign’s approach and I think it get’s the point over simply but bluntly. However, I also agree with Charlie Tait’s comment that the ‘Oi, HAVE YOU GOT S**T FOR BRAINS’ is taking it too far and is a bit of an confrontational insult. I can understand people taking offence with this one, even those who are not dog owners.

  • Mooko

    People don’t half talk some crap… It think this campaign is Shit Hot.

  • charles

    Excellent! About time someone had the courage to raise the profile – and all our sightlines!! – on this topic. It is totally disgusting, dog lovers or not. St Leonards is a disgrace in some places, Hastings getting better. Well done our Council. Keep up the good, direct hitting, work!
    Charles Neal, a local.

  • Mooko

    People don’t half talk some crap… It think this campaign is Shit Hot.

  • that really a great campaign in conserving the cleanliness of the community,.people should be discipline enough to throw their garbage in the right place.


  • Angela

    I used to work with Clare many moons ago, and this is typical of clare! I agree with Woot Design, nice simple graphics and strong typography. Pass it on to Hertfordshire Council will yah!

    Nice work Clare! x

  • It’s a great idea in trying to engage people in an entertaining way, but i’m not sure if the use of expletives in advertising is a good idea, even if it is ‘blanked’.

    Don’t s**t on your own doorstep.

  • mandeep Kalsi

    Shit hot. Love it.

  • Philster

    Great! I’m glad they were bold enough to go with the campaign, plenty of councils would have chosen the safe route. This is much more effective and the negative responses would have only garnered extra publicity for them. Well done to both Wave and Hastings Council for getting it right. Personally I love the typography, it suits and is fun, although I would agree the “i” in “Oi” looks a bit odd.

  • Brilliant. I love it. Why beat around the bush? I totally agree with people who leave poo on the streets. Next stop – telling the horse riders to pick up their horses stinky green s**t from off the road outside our house.

  • Imogen Pybus

    ABSOLUTLEY PERFECT! Yes lettering a bit `mix & match’ but maybe meant to come across as `Retro’ and modern?! MAIN THING is, that the `thickies and lazies’ that have caused all this `money and time consuming’ nonsense that regular people have had to deal with for SO long now, will understand it! Although I think it’s the punishment of the crime that will sort this out! I think they should do away with fines and be more `practical and humiliating’ with the penalty-see below.

    But even when they `bag it’ – they don’t always `bin it’. I live in st Leonards, and have come across plenty of full bags thrown on the ground-this is inexcusable now, the council has added so many extra doggy bins and at great expense (which of course we are all paying for!). Why do these people find it so difficult to do such a simple thing when they are aware of how their fellow humans feel? I hope these fines include this act too?!

    Shame our architecturally-rich town has to be covered with poo flyers because of a few selfish and ignorant people!




    PUT THEM IN THE TOWNS `STOCKS’ AND HAVE EVERYONE THROW DOG POO FROM THE DOGGY BINS AT THEM!!!!! Discusting, I know, but may finally get them thinking?!


  • J Rayne

    Bella – once upon a time people would rush out with a shovel if they saw some horse poo on the road so they could put it on their garden. Horse poo is unpleasant but it doesn’t carry bacteria which can kill a child.

    Around us people *usually* pick up after their dogs but they don’t bin it. They just chuck it near the hedge or in long grass, there are a reasonable number of bins around.

    Unfortunately – and this is really disgusting – one of our dogs is a true dustbin retriever and she will eat the bags lying on the ground, despite loads of training. She won’t touch anything else, just poo bags. And of course we always clear up after them too. There are a lot of lazy, selfish, and probably thick individuals around who appear to be too stupid to look after a dog properly. There are a lot of people who also have no respect for their surroundings and who don’t give a crap about any rubbish. We need a campaign like that in Cardiff please!

  • trapper

    Is this about the merits and design of the campaign or a diatribe about shit on our streets? I don’t thnk anyone disagrees about turds on the street being unacceptable, wherever they are from.

    Still a bloody awful typeface (everyone knows curves drop below and above the horizontal….don’t they? I blame Brody!). I see it’s a very popular typeface with WAVE, they seem to use it everywhere. Maybe they just bought the one font.

    When is someone going to do a campaign like this for Cat owners?
    Nice Pussy…
    Now F•KC OFF my garden!

    Here Kity Kitty…
    Now F•KC OFF my garden!

    Cat Owners…
    Get your F•KCIN Cat off my garden!

    I’ve just thought t would make a great name and brand for a clothing company!

  • T****ki M’F****er

    So is this how the world is going to look to us and our kids in a few years? Wall-to-wall s**t, f**ker, c**k? All because it has ‘cut-through’?

    Give me a break, where’s the imagination? We’re supposed to be evolving, not sliding back into the gutter. Do the council really think that papering the environment with that rubbish can be justified because it’s a ‘top five’ concern? Does it make them feel ‘now’, even in their dull offices? Idiots.

    Creativity is sinking further into lad-mag mentality. There’s nothing to applaud here, cut-through my a*se…

  • tony

    ii can see how some people might get offended, but i like the concept.

    REALLY don’t like the type, can’t stop looking at that lower case ‘i’….

  • trapper

    T****ki M’F****er

    At last someone who can think for themselves and has an opinion.


    It’s nonsense… (or a first year college project)

  • Jasmine Farahat

    I love the catchy saying and images. So many people are just lazy when it comes to taking care of their pets and making their community presentable.

  • Mark Roythorne

    I have a company that specialises in the removal of dog mess from public places and green areas, perhaps in the future i could help your council in reducing the build up, and swift removal of dog mess from your historic town.

  • Sasha Alexander

    It is bringing ourselves down a level to use bad language, now aour children will see swear words as well as dog mess on our streets. The dog fouling has not improved, I walked accross Hastings and St leonards 3 tmes last week, and there was dogs mess in every street, I walked for over an hour and I truly think that peole who let their dogs foul our pavements ar not going to stop because of posters. They need to be fined, on the spot, in a campaign to match the vigalence of the parking fines in this town.

  • Natalie Taylor

    Yeah pissing me off and others just done a,school run and about 6/7 lumps of dog shit bloody disgusting. Woodvale road,southwater road.St Leonards on sea.