Bates UK creates brand activity for Levonelle morning-after pill

Levonelle, the only over-the-counter morning-after pill available in the UK, is launching a new phase of advertising aimed at giving women the confidence to ask for the product at pharmacies.

Schering Health Care, Levonelle's manufacturer, claims the "positive and empowering message" of the advertising will persuade women that buying it is normal and natural and should cause neither shame nor embarrassment.

Bates UK has produced the print initiative, its first since picking up the account in April, which promotes Levonelle as "the easier way to ask for the morning-after pill".

MindShare is buying media for the campaign targeting urban women in their late 20s and early 30s. The advertising will break at the end of the month in women's press, across the London Underground and in the Metro freesheet.

Each of the ads features images of luxurious beds to dispel product associations of chaos or panic and set a reassuring tone to reduce the anxiety of taking the morning-after pill.

One of the executions carries the line: "You missed yesterday's pill. But you don't want the whole pharmacy to know." Another says: "Last night the condom slipped off. But who wants to broadcast it?"

The ads were written by Louise Wright and art directed by Alison Corcoran.

Levonelle has been available without prescription to women aged over 16 since 2001, but its over-the-counter status has provoked protests from Church of England and anti-abortion groups.

But Miriam Jordan-Keane, the group director responsible for the business at Bates, said: "Levonelle is a wonderful brand totally in tune with contemporary women's needs."