At Work: Partnerships - Business partner

Mathew Little

The Terrence Higgins Trust is now a partner of the Erotica Show 2006.

Charities in the UK seem to be getting more comfortable with the marketing adage that 'sex sells'. Marie Stopes International promoted the Masturbate-a-thon 2006 and shared the proceeds with the Terrence Higgins Trust.

The trust itself has now become the partner charity of the Erotica 2006 show, which takes place at Kensington's Olympia in London this week.

In one sense, the partnership is a move into the mainstream, rather than towards the fringe, for the trust. The HIV/Aids charity has long been associated with gay men, but is trying to reposition itself as a sexual health charity. Of the 80,000 people who attended Erotica last year, 60 per cent were women - they are seen by the trust as a key target audience.

"This is a perfect opportunity, given Erotica's audience profile, which is predominantly heterosexual women in their 30s and upwards," says head of corporate and trust fundraising Tracey Carter. "It's a really good opportunity for us to get more brand exposure and get our messages across to new people."

Erotica is also seeking a more mainstream profile and sees the partnership with Terrence Higgins and sponsorship by Virgin Radio as a means to that end. "It makes sense for us to have both a heavyweight media sponsor and a key charity," says marketing manager Tracey Farrow. "It gives the public permission to come to our show."

The Terrence Higgins Trust will feature on all Erotica 2006 outdoor and Tube advertising, and its presence at the show will be promoted on Virgin Radio. The two will also collaborate on messages concerning safe and respectful sex.

"It was a bit of a no-brainer putting the two together, because we're both talking about the same things," says Farrow.

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