As ardent campaigners for animal welfare the RSPCA is well versed in parliamentary legislation but most people in the UK do not understand the processes that are involved in introducing new laws or altering existing laws on the statute books. In fact most people assume that if the majority of MPs have voted on an issue, that's the end of it.

The Animal Welfare bill campaign is the current major concern of the RSPCA and due to the complexity of the legislative process they commissioned their digital communications agency, Lateral, to develop an interactive and fun tool to provide an ‘at a glance’ view of a parliamentary timeline.

The RSPCA Parliamentary Timeline http://www.rspcaparliamentarytimeline.org.uk, which launched this week, is based on the ‘Snakes and Ladders’ game. Visitors to the RSPCA website will now be able to follow the ups and downs of the current Animal welfare bill, and subsequent bills, through parliament. There is a brief history of the campaign, calls to action as well as updated summarised information. The game ends when a Bill is passed and becomes an Act of Parliament.

“This non linear game is a perfect metaphor of the legislative process and has allowed us to create an educational tool that is fun and appeals to a wide range of users. This format has also allowed us to explain a complex procedure without diluting it and enable users to interact and contribute by action to a campaign.” Said Jon Bains, Chairman at Lateral.

The Parliamentary Timeline is targeted at:

• Members of the general public who visit the RSPCA website.
ß People who use the campaigning section of the website.
ß People interested in specific campaigns that have a legislative element.
ß People who have signed up for updates on RSPCA campaigns.
ß Schools
ß Activists

“We wanted to help visitors to the RSPCA website understand how long it takes for, and the process by which, legislation reaches the statue books. The public often ask why we continuously ask them to write to their MP on the same issue, now they can clearly see why and that if they take the appropriate action at the right time they can influence what happens. “ Said Justine Pannett, Digital Campaign Manager RSPCA.

Press enquires for Lateral:
Contact Karen Durham-Diggins at kddPR
E: kdd@easynet.co.uk
T: 020 8989 2541
M: 07808 584 624

For further information on the RSPCA please contact press office on 0870
7540 244

EDITORS NOTES:

The Parliamentary Timeline game was built in Flash 6 with an XML content feed for 1 player against the computer, based around the ‘snakes and ladders’ concept.

Lateral: http://www.lateral.net
UK based Lateral, established in June 1997, has evolved into a unique digital communications agency that focuses on providing their clients with creative strategies and then executing them, using a support network of symbiotic business partnerships with specialist companies.

Their pioneering expertise and professional approach has attracted recognition both within the new media industry, having been awarded several times for their work, as well as the consumer market as can be seen by their client list. Clients include: Levi's® Europe, Five, Faber & Faber, Nintendo and RSPCA

Published on: 12:00AM on 30th March 2006