National Trading Standards

Barley’s work for National Trading Standards helps protect consumers and safeguard legitimate businesses. Our recent high impact stories have highlighted the increasing role of organised crime and modern slavery in Trading Standards offences and warnings to retailers about selling knives to children.

National Trading Standards is responsible for gathering important intelligence from around the country to combat rogue traders and tackle several national priorities. These priorities currently include mass marketing and internet scams, and a range of trading standards enforcement issues that go beyond local authority boundaries.

Barley Communications provides media relations support for National Trading Standards. This includes:

  • Proactive campaigns to raise consumer and business awareness about specific issues and priorities
  • Proactive media announcements to highlight enforcement milestones, such as court hearings and arrests
  • Managing the National Trading Standards press office.

Recently, unscrupulous criminals have been exploiting fears about COVID-19 to prey on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from family and friends. National Trading Standards is warning people to remain vigilant following a rise in coronavirus-related scams that seek to benefit from the public’s concern and uncertainty over COVID-19.
We devised and delivered a hard-hitting media campaign for National Trading Standards to raise awareness of COVID-19 crimes and help prevent more people being scammed.

This led to 60+ pieces of coverage, including BBC News, The Guardian, Metro, Daily Mail and The Times. The coverage has led to a seven-fold increase in new sign-ups to the scams prevention campaign Friends Against Scams and the story overall has led to 10k+ new registrants.

“We appointed Barley Communications to run the media operation for National Trading Standards in 2019. We outsource the entire press function to Barley and entrust them to manage and enhance our reputation on a range of sensitive issues. At NTS we run multiple investigations and Barley are a vital part of our team handling communications for complex court cases with sensitivity and professionalism. The team recently presented to our Board and we were very pleased with the quality of media coverage on issues such as the sale of knives to under 18s, doorstep crime, scams and other areas of consumer harm. Barley are strategic operators working at a senior level and demonstrate an excellent understanding of the complex partner landscape in which we operate. Barley can be relied upon to use their experience to work effectively with partners including police forces, local authorities, retailers and others. Their knowledge of the consumer protection environment, the partnerships they have developed and their links with relevant media are impressive. I am very happy to recommend Barley.”
Lord Toby Harris, Chairman, National Trading Standards and Author of London’s preparedness to respond to a terrorist attack: an independent review, October 2016