Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Viacom Exploring Expansion of ‘KNOW HIV/AIDS’ Public Service Announcement Campaign
Viacom, the world's largest media group, together with the Kaiser Family Foundation, is considering expanding its HIV/AIDS awareness media campaign overseas, possibly into developing countries, the Financial Times reports. The "KNOW HIV/AIDS" campaign already has run for eight weeks in the United States, airing advertisements on 180 radio stations throughout the country (Burt, Financial Times, 3/27). The campaign is aimed at raising awareness of the disease through public service announcements, television and radio programming and free print and online content. The campaign, which has a total ad placement value of $120 million, is targeted at both the general population and groups hardest hit by HIV/AIDS, such as people under age 25, minorities, women and men who have sex with men. The initiative has already created 49 television, radio and outdoor ads that are appearing on Viacom's television networks CBS and UPN and 200 affiliates; cable outlets MTV, BET, VH1, CMT, MTV2, TV Land, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Showtime, TNN and Comedy Central; more than 180 Infinity radio stations; and on billboards, buses and bus shelters (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/6). Carl Folta, Viacom's senior vice president for philanthropic activities, said, "We have 25 different TV messages going out in 200 markets. The number of airings is up to 20,000 in the first few weeks." The media group's marketing council is currently creating an action plan and talking with the BBC World Service about options for airing the campaign in developing countries, according to the Times. A "global education campaign" would address the "cultural taboos" of sexual health, drug use and poverty. Although talks are underway, language issues, infrastructure problems and the "sheer scale of the crisis make" implementing a global campaign in the developing world a "hard task," the Times reports. Folta said, "It's a different message and a different challenge, but one that we must begin" (Financial Times, 3/27).
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