Prostate Cancer UK

The cancer charity has enlisted comedian Bill Bailey to front its latest campaign

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey

What is it?

Prostate Cancer UK launched its latest campaign on New Year’s Day. It is aimed at raising awareness and funds for the charity. Bill Bailey is the face of The Sledgehammer Fund, designed to expose the facts behind the disease.

And what are they?

Prostate cancer kills one man every hour and the number of men with the disease is rising. It is already the most common cancer in men and is predicted to become the most common cancer of all in the UK by 2030. It currently affects 250,000 men in the UK.

So what is happening?

Bailey has filmed a TV advert that was first aired on New Year’s Day in a bid to reach as many people as possible. In the adverts, Bailey talks to camera and appeals to viewers to donate to the charity.

The Sledgehammer Fund, which will run between January and the end of March, will also feature in a series of hard-hitting print adverts, which have been designed to set out the issue in stark terms.

What about online?

The charity has looked at its search-engine optimisation and Google Adwords in order to drive traffic to its site. The charity’s site will include the adverts featuring Bailey. It has also launched its first mobile site, designed to redirect people to its main website.

Social media will play an important part, with teasers appearing on Facebook and Twitter before the launch. The charity has used Bailey’s online following to raise awareness of the campaign. It is also using

People are being urged to donate £5 to The Sledgehammer Fund by texting CRACK to a dedicated number or calling to donate.

Why is the charity doing it?

The Sledgehammer Fund has been set up to generate cash for Prostate Cancer UK's work to increase the spend on research into the disease, and to improve the support men receive.

Owen Sharp, chief executive of Prostate Cancer UK, said: "Prostate cancer is simply not on the radar in the UK. Even though it kills one man every hour – that’s 10,000 men each year – most men and women don’t know enough about it. We are going to need a very big sledgehammer to crack prostate cancer. This is more than a campaign; it is a call to arms."

Third Sector verdict:

The use of a famous face, like Bill Bailey’s, means men will be more inclined to listen to the charity’s message. It could have used humour more in the adverts, given Bailey’s profession; although this is a serious subject, comedy and lightheartedness can work when targeting men over health issues – as demonstrated by Movember.

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