CAMPAIGNS: PUBLIC AWARENESS; Fashion spreads breast kept secret

Client: Breakthrough Breast Cancer PR Team: Aurelia PR Campaign: Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Timescale: 22 April - June 1996 Cost: pounds 15,000

Client: Breakthrough Breast Cancer

PR Team: Aurelia PR

Campaign: Fashion Targets Breast Cancer

Timescale: 22 April - June 1996

Cost: pounds 15,000

Breakthrough Breast Cancer is a UK charity set up to establish Britain’s

first dedicated breast cancer research centre. Fashion Targets Breast

Cancer is an American campaign founded by designer Ralph Lauren, the

rights for which were granted to Breakthrough in the UK. Breakthrough in

turn secured sponsorship from Nivea which joined the campaign in early



To raise pounds 250,000 for a pounds 15 million cancer research centre

and increase awareness of breast cancer.


The successful American FTBC campaign was an obvious role model for

Aurelia. The main thrust of the campaign was identical, though the

timing was changed - in the States it co-oincided with New York Fashion

Week. On launch day, 22 April, models and celebrities, mostly women,

were asked to wear T-shirts bearing the FTBC logo and some - Jennifer

Ehle, Jane Horrocks and Bruce Oldfield - appeared at a press call at

Marble Arch. An 80-strong group headed by Amanda Wakeley and Caryn

Franklin staged a walk down Oxford Street, the celebrities visiting each

store supporting the campaign. T-shirts were made available nationwide

by major fashion retailers, many of whom provided window space and

promotional support.

Launch week also saw the release of The Breast Health Handbook, all

proceeds of which will go to the charity, featuring practical advice

from medical writers such as Liz Erle, and Dr Miriam Stoppard, as well

as real life experiences of the disease.

On 6 May, Harrods held a book and T-shirt signing session with Nicole

Farhi, Amanda Wakeley and Paul Smith. Signings were also held at FTBC’s

stand at the four-day Cosmo Show. House of Fraser and independent

department stores throughout the country will be holding fashion shows

between now and the end of the campaign with models wearing the FTBC T-

shirts. The T-shirt complete with logo has even cropped up in a fashion

show on EastEnders

Nivea sponsorship exploitation was handled by Countrywide which produced

a VNR on the sponsorship, reader offers of product and signed T-shirts

in the women’s consumer press with ongoing celebrity radio interviews

planned for the end of May and June.


For maximum impact, Aurelia embargoed coverage until 22 April, the day

T-shirts went on sale. As a result, the agency had to turn down Capital

Woman’s proposal to run an entire show on the campaign, in the week

prior to its launch.

However, the launch was featured on BBC Clothes Show, GMTV, Capital

Radio, in the pages of Tatler, Marie Clare, Harpers & Queen and in

health magazines, national newspapers and local radio. The walk was

featured on London Tonight, After Five and Sky News and Nivea’s VNR was

picked up by London Tonight, Channel One, Sky News, MTV News APTV, UK

Living, Black Entertainment TV and Live TV. So far Aurelia estimates the

campaign has raised pounds 140,000 from sales of 50,000 T-shirts and

45,000 books.


As charity campaigns go, getting its message into EastEnders and onto

the back of Bruce Oldfield, represents a fairly wide ranging coup. The

celebrity presence provided fodder for the media while the ‘common

touch’ of the high street walk appealed to the retailers who put their

weight behind the campaign. Nivea has hailed FTBC it as its most

important branding exercise of the year and the company now sees

involvement with Breakthrough as a long-term commitment.

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