Healthcare: On the Agenda - Paternity test on general sale

In a nutshell

The first UK approved and regulated DNA paternity testing kit has been made available over the counter. On sale nationally in Boots stores, Assuredna is a test that processes and returns paternity results in one to five days. Research by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health has estimated that 1 in 25 assumed 'fathers' in the UK are actually not the biological father. The test is designed to simply and accurately resolve uncertainty over paternity.

How does it work?

Samples are taken from father, child and mother with a cotton swab rubbed over the inside of the mouth, to remove cells containing DNA. The swabs are then placed in colour coded envelopes, sealed and posted to Anglia DNA for analysis. The Assuredna paternity test requires signed consent and identification documents from father, child, and mother in order for the test to be processed.

PR strategy

Road Communications were charged with raising awareness of the launch of the paternity test by manufacturer Anglia DNA. An embargoed press released was sent out to national and regional media informing journalists of the launch and highlighting key benefits.

Press coverage

Road delivered blanket media coverage across a range of media including TV, radio, national and regional press and online. Television highlights included BBC News, ITV News and Daybreak. In print the story was covered in the Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian.

50k - Number of birth certificates the father's name is left blank on each year

1 in 25 assumed 'fathers' in the UK are not the biological father.

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