31 March 2004 – NatWest was last night awarded the Hollis Sponsorship ‘Charity and Community Award 2004 for the ‘Sun Safety – Know your boundaries’ campaign in partnership with Marie Curie Cancer Care and Banana Boat Sun Care.

Octagon Marketing who were responsible for creating and implementing the innovative cause related Sun Safety campaign, have also confirmed their re-appointment by NatWest for a further two years to manage and implement the company’s comprehensive cricket sponsorship programme.

Rosemary Sarginson, Chair of Judges, Hollis Publishing said, ‘The Hollis Awards recognises and rewards the very best sponsorship campaigns with the judges looking for evidence of innovation, creativity and above all effectiveness. NatWest’s Sun Safety entry is a very clear and clever build on their existing cricket sponsorship. The campaign was a first for any cricket sponsor in the UK and brought NatWest to the forefront of consumers’ minds differentiating the bank from competitors.’

Steve Day, Head of NatWest Brand Strategy, commented: ‘We are absolutely delighted to have won a prestigious Hollis Award in recognition of the successful Sun Safety campaign developed by Octagon and thank Marie Curie Cancer Care and Banana Boat for their continued support. Octagon has consistently applied new and innovative marketing strategies to our Cricket sponsorship, maintaining relevance and freshness.’

Now in its third year, the NatWest/Marie Curie Cancer Care Sun Safety initiative aims to generate awareness of the dangers of over exposure to the sun, raise money for the charity and convey NatWest as a good corporate citizen. The campaign is focused around NatWest’s cricket sponsorship to specifically target men as in the last five years skin cancer cases amongst males has increased by 12% compared to 2.1% in women*.

Spectators at all NatWest cricket matches are provided with free Banana Boat sun protection and sun safety information. The England cricket team and County players are being screened for skin cancer and since the campaign started in 2002, over £200,000 has been raised for skin cancer research at the world renowned Marie Curie Research Institute.

Antonia Henderson, Corporate Development Manager, Marie Curie Cancer Care, commented: ‘We are thrilled to be a part of this winning team. The partnership with NatWest and Banana Boat provides an important platform for educating men about the dangers of the sun whilst also raising much needed funds to support the research of the charity’s malignant melanoma team at the Marie Curie Research Institute.’

Aidan Day, Managing Director, Octagon Marketing, said: ‘Octagon’s relationship with NatWest, has gone from strength to strength over the last few years and we are delighted to be once again providing our services to help support their expanding cricket programme.

The role builds on Octagon’s existing consultancy work for NatWest, a relationship that started in 1996. Activity ranges from event management, hospitality, PR & media, promotions, merchandising and development of an extensive grassroots programme.’

For further information on NatWest’s cricket sponsorship or the ‘Sun Safety- know your boundaries’ campaign, please contact Lucinda Harding at Octagon Marketing on 020 7862 0000 or email lucinda.harding@octagon.com

For further information on Marie Curie Cancer Care, please contact Emily Woodsend on 020 7599 7707 or email emily.woodsend@mariecurie.org.uk