Communications: Breast Cancer Care setsitself apart

Breast Cancer Care will launch its first TV ad campaign next week as it tries to overcome public confusion about its services.

The charity wants to distinguish itself from other breast cancer charities because it fears many people can't differentiate them.

The 40-second advert features a series of female celebrity talking heads - including charity patrons Cherie Booth, Joan Bakewell and Geri Halliwell - reciting a poem about how the charity helps to ease breast cancer-related problems. The sign-off displays the helpline number and website address.

Award-winning director Mike Leigh filmed the eclectic mix of stars, which includes presenters Zoe Ball and Lorraine Kelly, actors Alison Steadman, Meera Syal and Denise Van Outen, Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis and model Jerry Hall.

Samia al Qadhi, joint chief executive at Breast Cancer Care, hopes the campaign will reinforce the charity's position as the only provider of free and confidential information, practical assistance and emotional support to people living with breast cancer in the UK.

The ads will run on the main terrestrial and satellite TV channels from 14 March to 6 April. They will mostly be shown during the daytime to reach women over 50, the age group that accounts for 80 per cent of breast cancers.

The idea was proposed by Martha Greene, a supporter with breast cancer.

"As an ex-employee of Saatchi, she persuaded her former employer to create the ad for free," said al Qadhi.

The charity has chosen to run the ad now rather than closer to October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, because it feels the month's general message has intensified public confusion.

The campaign includes a print media drive, which began last week when Woman & Home magazine ran a feature on the making of the ad. National daily newspapers and women's consumer magazines will be targeted with editorial, and posters will go up in Dorothy Perkins fitting rooms.

The campaign has cost the charity £145,000. All the celebrities donated their services.

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