ATLANTA: Ogilvy PR is supporting Georgia's most recent HIV awareness advertising campaign, P.A.U.S.E., which is geared towards African-American men who have sex with men. It was launched on HIV testing day on June 27.
The Centers for Disease Control funds the program through the Georgia Department of Public Health.
The statewide campaign, an acronym for Promoting Awareness of H.I.V. Using Safer Sex Education, addresses the group through billboard, radio and restroom advertisements, all of which have a call-to-action number for testing advice.
"[African Americans] is the main audience we're trying to reach with the campaign in a way that doesn't neglect different groups," said Georgia public health programs and services account manager Richard Quartarone.
Images USA, the ad company for the campaign, hired Ogilvy as a subcontractor to handle the PR support when it was hired by the state of Georgia in February 2003.
Ogilvy's has been supporting the campaign with press conferences and, more generally, by getting the campaign in front of the news media, according to Tedera Lipsey, Images USA senior account executive.
Ogilvy account director Natalie Jones leads the account and has about six core team members that work on the account. The firm is pursuing several different mediums to get the word out that people need to get tested, Jones said.
Amongst the target community, the "down low" sector, African American men who don't identify themselves as homosexual and have been documented by many news stories as having unprotected sex, is a large component. Jones also said that Georgia is a state where AIDS discussions amongst citizens are rare.
?Certainly appealing to people on the ?down low? is very key. The best way to go about [reaching them] is not placing stories in just gay and lesbian publications, but also placing them in the mainstream media,? Jones said.
She said another strategy geared towards that segment is to make overnight testing available in order to provide discretion to individuals on the "down low."
Ogilvy's measurement tools will show the number of people that were driven to the various testing sites, as well as the message the media picked up.
Jones said the initial efforts are focused on the six markets in Georgia that have the highest incidents of HIV infection: Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, Macon, Columbus, and Albany.
The second phase, to be launched next year, will focus on six additional markets.