BBC, Kaiser Family Foundation, Viacom To Produce HIV/AIDS Education Radio Spots in Africa, Caribbean
The BBC World Service Trust, Kaiser Family Foundation and Viacom have partnered to launch a year-long HIV/AIDS awareness campaign in Africa and the Caribbean, the Financial Times reports. The campaign, which will begin in fall 2003, will include 30- and 60-second radio public service announcements containing educational information about HIV/AIDS in seven languages. The spots will air during peak listening hours and could reach an estimated 60 million people (Burt, Financial Times, 5/19). The campaign will also include a five-minute call-in segment as part of the weekly English-language program "Postmark Africa," and the BBC World Service Trust and Kaiser Family Foundation will explore possibilities for longer format shows, according to a BBC World Service Trust release. The new collaboration, which is the BBC World Service's first-ever public awareness campaign on HIV/AIDS in these two regions, builds on the success of the "KNOW HIV/AIDS" awareness campaign launched in the United States in January by Viacom and the Kaiser Family Foundation (BBC World Service Trust release, 5/16). The campaign is aimed at raising HIV/AIDS awareness 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, 4/28). The $350,000 initial production and running costs of the BBC ads will be funded by the Kaiser Family Foundation, according to the Financial Times (Financial Times, 5/19).
Roy Head, director of health for the BBC World Service Trust, called the new campaign "exciting," adding, "The BBC reaches 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, and coupled with Viacom's huge audiences across the U.S. and Europe we can make a real difference. And if other big media players can follow suit, so much the better" (BBC World Service Trust release, 5/16). Carl Folta, senior vice president of Viacom, said, "When we decided to explore this project in Africa, where radio is the most powerful medium, it was obvious to turn to the BBC," which reaches more than one-third of adults in countries such as Nigeria and Kenya, according to the Financial Times (Financial Times, 5/19). Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation, said, "HIV/AIDS is a global epidemic with a devastating impact in Africa and the Caribbean. The BBC World Service Trust is uniquely positioned to focus greater attention on HIV/AIDS in these regions of the world" (BBC World Service Trust release, 5/19).