NEWS: H&K making pill easy to swallow

Schering, the UK’s leading oral contraceptive manufacturer, is investing in a five year consumer public relations campaign to restore women’s confidence in the pill.

Schering, the UK’s leading oral contraceptive manufacturer, is investing

in a five year consumer public relations campaign to restore women’s

confidence in the pill.



Hill and Knowlton is utilising its healthcare and marketing

communications divisions to execute the programme, which industry

sources estimate to be worth pounds 200,000 in fees.



The agency has been briefed to ‘re-image’ the pill among young women, in

the light of media reports last October which claimed that some brands

could cause blood clots. The reports caused panic among Britain’s three

million pill users.



The campaign will target the teenage media, schools and universities in

a bid to get women, initially under the age of 25, to switch from

condoms to the pill, or use both methods of contraception.



H&K will also run an educational campaign aimed at GPs, family planning

associations, key NHS staff and directors of public health using

detailed research on risk perception.



Noel Hall, director of H&K’s healthcare division said the campaign’s aim

was to ‘redefine the concept of safe sex’ - a phrase which has come to

mean protecting against the HIV virus rather than pregnancy.



According to Hall, the campaign will address issues which include

returning to the ‘core values’ of the 35-year old contraceptive by

promoting the benefits of empowerment and choice originally associated

with it.



The agency will also tackle what Hall describes as ‘the condomisation of

safe sex’, the use of condoms as women’s preferred method of

contraception by discussing the sensitive issue of ‘condom failures.’



‘It is a simple message,’ said Hall. ‘We will be saying ‘to avoid

pregnancy use the pill’.



H&K’s contract will run for an initial two years although Schering is

aiming for a longer term five-year campaign.



Schering produces five oral contraceptive brands including Femodene,

blacklisted in last year’s scare.



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