Campaign details

Brand: Recybem B.V.
Agency: Hill+Knowlton Strategies

The challenge

In autumn 2016, Zembla, a highly respected investigative media program aired a dedicated show that suggested that the use of crumb rubber in artificial turf causes cancer; especially in children. The broadcast was very emotional, casting (among others) parents and children who (had) suffered from cancer.

Source: Zembla

'This kind pollution would never be allowed anywhere else'

Hundreds of football clubs worried about artificial turf

  • Although there was not a single piece of evidence that supports the claim that crumb rubber causes cancer, media, politicians, and many football players and parents embraced this view within days after the broadcast.
  • Recybem B.V., an industry body responsible for the collection and recycling used tires in The Netherlands, asked Hill+Knowlton Strategies to reset the discussion about crumb rubber; as it wasn't fact based.

Research and insights