Hepatitis B is currently the only sexually-transmitted infection that can be prevented by immunisation.
As one in five homosexual men in London has been infected by the disease, Aventis Pasteur MSD wanted to raise awareness of the vaccination's importance.
For the B Safe campaign, Red Door Communications forged a partnership between Aventis and Sorted, a sexual health service from the Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Trust, plus CLASH, an outreach organisation based in Camden and Islington, north London.
Over six months in 2002, the campaign aimed to increase jabs by ten per cent.
B Safe launched at Purple in the Park, London's leading gay and lesbian event, where a Sorted clinic was set up on site. This provided vaccinations, an opportunity to talk directly with the target audience and buy-in for the media.
The PR team developed eye-catching materials, such as posters, margarine tubs, matches and condoms, for distribution in bars and clubs. These carried top-level, hard-hitting facts about hepatitis B and directed gay men to the Sorted clinic in Soho.
Prior to the launch event, the gay and regional media received media packs encouraging gay and bisexual men to seek vaccination. News hooks, such as extra opening days for the clinics, were created on an ongoing basis.
Further media interest was drummed up by ensuring B Safe had a presence at events such as the London Mardi Gras, while healthcare professionals received a mailing explaining the campaign.
Both qualitative and quantitative research was carried out before and after the campaign, to assess shifts in perceptions and understanding of the disease, awareness of the Sorted clinics, and how many people have been vaccinated so far.
Over six months, the hepatitis B vaccinations increased by 13 per cent.
In addition, 48 per cent of respondents were spontaneously aware of promotional activities involving hepatitis B, while 13 per cent of men questioned stated that they had been affected in some way by the B Safe campaign.
COMMENDED - LAUNCH OF CIALIS - ELI LILLY; THE RED CONSULTANCY
In February 2003, Eli Lilly launched Cialis, a treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED).
In a competitive market, Eli Lilly and Red set about building a strong brand profile with men aged over 40, their partners and health professionals.
Key aims included presenting information that men would find trustworthy but not smutty, and explaining why Cialis is different from other ED treatments.
The pre-launch phase linked clinical data with comment from advocacy groups the UK Impotence Association and Relate.
A partnership was also formed to produce a Haynes Workshop Manual on men's health, which has sold more than 50,000 copies.
The final strand of the campaign was a 24-hour press conference, reflecting Cialis's message, which allowed journalists to choose when to attend, resulting in 95 media items. Independent research showed that 57 per cent of ED patients recently placed on Cialis said they had requested the drug as a direct result of media coverage.
Chandler Chicco Agency
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