BHF debuts its largest campaign

The British Heart Foundation is about to launch its biggest ever campaign to persuade people to lead healthier lifestyles and raise £1m for research, education and patient-care projects.

The Big Red Fightback will launch in British Heart Week from 5-13 June to coincide with the release of new research proving that heart disease is the single biggest killer in the UK.

Awareness-raising ads are going up this week, with messages encouraging people to incorporate healthy activity into their everyday lives. The foundation wants to make it as easy as possible for people to improve heart health, so instead of suggesting joining a gym, its advertising contains advice such as getting off the bus a stop earlier and walking the rest of the way, or taking the stairs instead of the lift.

All press, outdoor and online ads will carry the strapline: "Heart disease is Britain's biggest killer, join the Big Red Fightback."

This the second year in which the foundation has linked its awareness campaigns to its fundraising, and corporate partners Shredded Wheat and Tetley Tea are joining in the campaign. Five million packets of Shredded Wheat - a brand owned by Cereal Partners which is half owned by Nestle - will turn red for the campaign and carry a voucher which, if sent off by customers, will see £1 donated to the foundation.

Two million Tetley boxes will sport red campaign imagery and Tetley will donate 10p from each pack sold. The foundation hopes that these initiatives by its corporate partners will contribute £400,000 to the £1m target.

The public is also urged to get involved by taking part in a sponsored stepping challenge, which encourages people to shun the lift and escalators for the stairs during Heart Week. The foundation is challenging the British public to climb 100 million steps, and gain sponsorship for each step taken.

The charity has enlisted the help of actor Martin Kemp, radio DJ Jono Coleman, and BBC sports commentator and Olympic champion Roger Black to support the campaign.

While fatality rates from coronary heart disease are falling, the number of people living with the condition is rising. The foundation hopes that the Big Red Fightback will encourage people to take more responsibility for their own heart health.

The charity is also hoping to emulate the success of its last marketing campaign, the image of the 'dripping fat' cigarette which, research shows, has stuck in the minds of 90 per cent of those who have seen it.

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