CAMPAIGN: Charity PR - BigD Nuts PR tackles male cancer issue

Client: BigD Nuts and the Institute for Cancer Research PR Team: Communique PR Campaign: BigD says Nuts to Testicular Cancer Timescale: June 2003 - ongoing Budget: Less than £50,000

Originally launched in 1972, BigD Nut's risque card-girl Beverley raised the profile of the company and appealed to the sexual appetite of male pub-goers. Last year, the not-so-PC card-girl was reintroduced, and glamour model Ruth Higham fronted the campaign.

BigD was inspired to use the card-girl's appeal to men to raise awareness of sensitive male health issues. It recognised a partnership with the Institute of Cancer Research would be mutually beneficial.


To raise the profile of BigD Nuts and to increase awareness of male cancer among 18- to 35-year-olds. To raise funds for the disease through the sale of BigD supporting merchandise, from beermats to t-shirts.

Strategy and Plan

Communique PR established a partnership between BigD Nuts's card-girl campaign and the Institute of Cancer Research's Everyman campaign to coincide with Cancer Awareness Month.

The campaign asked men to 'check their nuts' to prevent testicular cancer, and used a catch phrase 'Say nuts to cancer'. The PR team targeted national, regional and trade press. Pull-out poster campaigns were launched in two key trade publications, The Publican and National Bartenders.

Higham also promoted the campaign to lads mags FHM, Loaded and GQ, and cast members from TV comedy series Phoenix Nights took part in a picture story with Higham, which was released to the press.

A dual-branded information hotline and a website were launched with cancer-related information and a guide to 'checking your nuts'. The advice hotline was set up as a premium-rate telephone number, with all proceeds benefiting the Everyman campaign.

More than 50,000 pub packs containing beermats and posters were distributed to licensed outlets with orders of BigD.

Measurement and Evaluation

The campaign had coverage in The Sun, The Sunday Star, the Daily Star and The Daily Sport, in business titles such as Entrepreneur and Insider, and retail publications Pub Life, the Morning Advertiser, The Grocer and Independent Retail News.


BigD has become the fastest growing nut brand, with an 88 per cent increase in value sales from 2002 to 2003. Product enquiries are up 200 per cent year-on-year. The 'check your nuts' website received 5,500 visits since the campaign began.

Front magazine reporter Nesha Remzi said the campaign's message was important to her readers. 'Instead of being scientific, it provided a light-hearted way to get a serious message across.'

However, Daily Sport reporter Nick Appleyard said he wrote only a small article on the campaign as it appealed to his readers for only one reason, 'simply the fact that it had a good-looking girl on the cover'.

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