Kitemark® for Garage Services earns valuable BBC exposure

Press release: 25 February 2008

The drive to push the BSI Kitemark for Garage Services initiative forward was given mainstream media exposure on Saturday morning when Quentin Willson, a strong campaigner for motoring consumer rights and the public face of the respective vehicle service and body repair schemes, was interviewed on BBC Breakfast TV and BBC Radio 5 live.

This latest round of media exposure is part of a high-profile consumer campaign to raise awareness about the merits of the Kitemark schemes that aim to give motorists a better deal by improving UK garage standards.

When interviewed by Charlie Stayt and Sonia Deol on BBC Breakfast and Matt Smith and Rachel Burden on BBC Radio 5 live, Willson spoke about how the UK garage sector isn’t thoroughly regulated and emphasized how poor standards are affecting the safety of drivers and their passengers. He also highlighted the fact that UK motorists are overcharged by an average of £150 each year for the repair of their vehicle.

The risks associated with poor garage standards are highlighted to the UK’s motorists.

BSI’s sales and marketing director, Ian Harper, also took part in the radio interview and he believes Saturday’s media coverage of the Kitemark for Garage Services initiative was a valuable step forwards in terms of driving the message home to a mainstream audience that totalled more than 10 million people.

“We want to get to the point where consumers walk into their local garage and are in the position to make an educated decision about whether it is capable of repairing their vehicle to the correct standard,” he said. “It’s not going to happen overnight but getting our message across through two very high-profile channels on a Saturday morning gives us a fighting chance and a vehicle for getting to the people that matter – the consumers.

“The fact that an organization like the BBC recognizes the power of the Kitemark and the importance of the message that we are trying to get across, puts us and all of the businesses that have become Kitemark accredited in an excellent position moving forwards. This is an initiative to really believe in because it is trying to make a serious difference.

When Saturday’s interviews were broadcast, there were 125 licensees and 37 applicants for the Kitemark for Garage Services, while there were 60 licensees for the Kitemark for Vehicle Body Repair, with another 264 in the application stage.

BSI’s bid to increase consumer awareness will continue during 2008 with other high-profile interviews and activities already scheduled on television, radio and in the print media.