Public Health England hunts shop to tackle rise in STDs

Public Health England is looking for an advertising agency to help it combat an "explosion" of sexually transmitted diseases in the UK.

Public Health England: plans to follow up activity launched in December
Public Health England: plans to follow up activity launched in December

The government’s health agency has launched a tender for a shop to create a campaign targeting 16- to 24-year-olds over the next two or three years.

The activity will aim to reduce the rate of infection among the age group after large increases in syphilis and gonorrhea were reported last summer.

The pitch is open to agencies on the government’s communications roster, which was created at the end of last year. The process is being run by the Crown Commercial Service.

PHE announced in December that it would launch campaigns this year around sexual health in response to "an explosion of STDs". 

In July last year, the government department reported significant rises in diagnoses of syphilis, up by 76% between 2012 and 2015, while cases of gonorrhea had risen by 53%.

The December warning coincided with the launch of multiple PHE campaigns between Christmas and New Year addressing smoking, and health in children and middle-aged people.

M&C Saatchi, OgilvyOne, MEC and Freud Communications work on PHE’s campaigns. Carat looks after media buying for the government.

Sheila Mitchell, marketing director at PHE, wrote in Campaign in December that it has "developed increasingly sophisticated and user-friendly marketing tools that apply behavioural science to support people on a lasting journey towards better health".

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