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.