A letter to...ITV

by Hanna Pumfrey

So the credit for this 'A letter to' goes to my Mum, the wonderful Kathryn. An avid watcher of Coronation Street, she called me up in excitement a couple of months a go because she had seen one of the characters holding an ethical fashion magazine as they left the Corrie corner shop. An accident? Or could it be that ITV are actively trying to raise awareness of important issues around the topic of sustainability? Well, according to ITV's CSR page they do try to 'increase awareness of environmental sustainability' through their programmes.

So, whilst home over Christmas spending some time with my Mum, I dutifully tuned into Corrie with the hope of catching site of a Keep Cup in Roy's cafe or the absence of straws in The Rovers Return. No such luck.

Mum's idea... write to ITV and open up a discussion on the topic. I like this idea Mum! So, what did I do? I blumming- well went and wrote to ITV didn't I, and sent it to every email address contact I could find for the network (someone's got to reply right?!). 

(21/01/2018) FLOR AND CESTA

Hi there,

I hope you are well.

As we head into 2018 the media is awash with stories of supermarkets and the Government all making promises to cut plastic use and make Britains future green. Indeed only last week Theresa May herself pledged to make the plastic free supermarket aisle happen.

Whether or not these pledges will be be fulfilled remains to be seen but either way it's great news. Why? Because it is raising awareness of some of the most pressing environmental issues effecting the future of our planet. You may have read some of the facts around our plastic consumption and waste, for me the fact that has stayed with me is that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish. A level of plastic waste that our ecosystems simply cannot tolerate. 

To introduce myself, by day I am a digital marketing manager working in the city, outside of that I run Flor + Cesta; a sustainable lifestyle platform dedicated to raising awareness of environmental issues and giving people the tools to live more sustainably, without a radical lifestyle change.

I would like to open up a discussion on how ITV, through the medium of some of the nations most loved soaps, can raise awareness of these issues and help people make some very small changes in their life that could go a very long way. 

When Sophie Webster buys a magazine in the corner shop she could purchase an environmentally conscious publication such Veggie Magazine or Positive News. When Carla Connor is buying her takeaway coffee in Roy's, she could use a Keep Cup. When Eva Price serves a G + T, leave out the straw. You could even add a sign above the bar that says 'The Rovers Return is taking part in the #stopsucking challenge to campaign for a better planet and will no longer be serving straws'. 

These are simple changes that could be made with little cost that could have huge impact. With the volume of viewers tuning into ITVs most loved soaps like Emmerdale and Corrie, this is a tremendous opportunity to reach the British people in a fun and engaging way. It is also an opportunity for ITV to position itself as the leading television network in this movement.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further with the appropriate team. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Kind regards, Hanna

(22/01/2018) ITV

Thank you for your e-mail regarding Coronation Street. I’m delighted to read you are watching our production and it is good of you to take the time and trouble to write to us with your idea for Coronation Street. You must remember that from idea to screen takes about six months, although it can take longer, (we film eight weeks in advance of transmission and scripts are finalised eight weeks before that and story lined ten to twelve weeks prior to that). By the time our viewers generally have an idea for the show in a current storyline we normally, as you can see, have either written or filmed it; also there are complicated copyright issues which preclude us from accepting ideas from individuals who are not contracted to Coronation Street nevertheless I will ensure a copy of your helpful and insightful e-mail reaches our Producer. Once again many thanks for your e-mail and I do hope that Coronation Street entertains and engages you with its drama for years to come.

Yours with Best Wishes, David Nugent, Coronation Street.

(22/01/2018) FLOR + CESTA

Hi David,

Many thanks for coming back to me, I appreciate your quick response. 

In all honesty, my reference to the media was really just to get your attention. I think you will agree that the issue of climate change and our country's challenges with plastic waste are not something that are going to be resolved or indeed out of date in the next 6 months. This is a challenge that is set to remain at the top of the agenda for our planet for years to come.

That is a shame that it is not possible to take ideas from non-contracted individuals as this is an opportunity for ITV to make a serious impact. To be clear, I am not looking for credit or to push certain products here, merely to start the discussion, I appreciate you sharing the email with your producer and should they wish to explore the idea further I would be happy to talk with her/him. 

Many thanks, Hanna

(22/01/2018) Awaiting a response from David.