News Article24/05/2010

First ever TV commercial for unplanned pregnancy advisory services in Britain

Marie Stopes International (MSI) has launched a broadcast campaign to raise awareness of sexual health and confront the taboo of abortion. The ground-breaking TV commercial first aired on British Television on 24th May 2010 and was shown throughout May and June. 

The advert was created after independent research showed that only 42% of UK adults would know where to go for specialist advice (other than going to their GP) if they or their partner were faced with an unplanned pregnancy. The survey also showed that over three quarters of UK adults (76%) agree that commercials about unplanned pregnancy advice services should be allowed on TV, within appropriate broadcasting times.

The advert directs viewers to MSI’s 24hr helpline in the UK, offering confidential and impartial advice on a range of sexual health issues, and signposting to other services marked the launch of MSI’s public information campaign ‘Are You Late?’ The campaign aims to improve public understanding of unplanned pregnancy and to raise awareness of the services available to women who are faced with an unplanned pregnancy.

Though abortion has been legal in england, Wales and Scotland for 40 years, and one in three women will have an abortion in their lifetime, the subject is not always openly, or honestly, discussed. By bringing the issue out into the open, the advert helps to enable women to make informed and confident sexual health choices.

News of the TV advert generated considerable high-profile media attention, with over 585 news items worldwide. While there was strong debate, the message that it’s time for us all to talk about abortion more openly, to inform and empower women - and our offer of confi dential, impartial, 24/7 advice and support to women who need it – hit home, reaching a far wider public than ever before.


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