Up to 26 million people see Smear for Smear lipstick selfie campaign in 24 hours

The Smear for Smear social media campaign to encourage women to take smear tests by sharing 'lipstick smear selfies' was seen by up to 26 million people in the first 24 hours, its organisers claim.

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said 5,000 people used the #SmearforSmear hashtag on Twitter over that period. There were also 700 uploads on Instagram.

The campaign, orchestrated by the charity and Shine Communications, was launched on Sunday and urges women to smear lipstick on to their faces, take a ‘selfie’ and share it on social media. They are encouraged to nominate others to do the same and asked to highlight the importance of smear tests to combat cervical cancer.

Shine contacted a number of celebrities and asked them to share their Smear for Smear images at 11am on Sunday. Stephen Fry and Gaby Roslin were among those to do so.

Pop star Rita Ora also gave her support, Tweeting on Wednesday morning:

The campaign hopes to mirror the success of last summer’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and Cancer Research UK’s No Make-Up Selfie campaign, which both became popular by encouraging people to share images and videos on social media.

However, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust comms manager Maddy Durrant told PRWeek on Monday that it would be difficult to replicate their impact: "I think that only works when it’s started organically, it has a bit of magic and it has a bit of luck."

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