Red Cross prepares for Aids awareness drive

The British Red Cross has kicked off a search for a digital agency to produce a major new campaign and website warning of the dangers of HIV and Aids.

The charity has approached a number of undisclosed shops with a brief to educate young people about the impact of HIV ahead of World Aids Day, which is observed annually on 1 December.

The push will be aimed at teenagers and young adults who spend a lot of time online. It aims to educate people about HIV and its impact, with particular focus on developing countries including Nigeria, South Africa, India and China.

Selected agencies will be invited to a brainstorming session to discuss the best ways to approach the target audience, with the campaign set to launch on 20 November. According to the brief, the charity is considering options including developing interactive website content and forming digital partnerships with other sites that target young people.

Earlier this year, the British Red Cross appointed the specialist digital agency In-box Digital to develop a viral game promoting its annual appeal week.

In 2003, the charity signed a declaration that committed it to raising awareness of the disease and to increasing funding of HIV programmes abroad.

The last major UK Aids awareness campaign was TBWA's famous 1986 "tombstone" commercial.

A spokeswoman for the British Red Cross said no formal plans for the campaign were yet in place and declined to comment further.