NEWS: Saatchi launches two-year HEA health in pregnancy campaign

Saatchi and Saatchi has unveiled a pounds 1 million campaign for the Government urging women to take a vitamin supplement that helps to reduce the risk of giving birth to a deformed baby.

Saatchi and Saatchi has unveiled a pounds 1 million campaign for the

Government urging women to take a vitamin supplement that helps to

reduce the risk of giving birth to a deformed baby.



The TV and magazine push is the opening phase of a pounds 2.3 million,

two-year campaign by the Health Education Authority about the benefits

of folic acid, a B vitamin supplement that helps prevent babies being

born with spina bifida and other neural tube defects.



The key message is that women should take folic acid tablets while they

are trying to conceive as well as in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.



A 30-second TV commercial, showing sperm trying to penetrate an egg, is

based on the animated opening sequence of the film, Look Who’s Talking.

The same theme is used in ads that will appear in mother-and-baby and

women’s magazines. The copywriter for the campaign was Tom Wnek, and the

art director was Rupert Stubbs.



‘Saatchis has come up with a very original and charming way of dealing

with what is, potentially, a sensitive issue,’ Charles Gallichan, HEA’s

head of advertising, said.



Saatchis won the account last year without a pitch. It had previously

been handled by Laing Henry, which was acquired by Saatchis when

Jennifer Laing became chairman, Saatchis was handed the business on the

strength of its other work on health issues when some of its staff

linked up with the Laing Henry team working on the account.



The Government decided to launch the drive last year following criticism

from health groups that few women were aware of the benefits of folic

acid. HEA research published on Tuesday showed only one in ten women

knew about it without prompting, and just 9 per cent took it while

trying to conceive. Research highlighted the fact that women were very

concerned about taking supplements during pregnancy.



The launch of the campaign was backed by the National Lottery presenter,

Anthea Turner, who had a sister with spina bifida.



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