Viacom, Kaiser Family Foundation, U.K. National AIDS Trust Expanding ‘Staying Alive’ Campaign Into EuropeViacom, the world's largest media group, along with the Kaiser Family Foundation and the U.K.'s National AIDS Trust, is expected to announce today that it is expanding a multimillion dollar HIV/AIDS awareness campaign to the United Kingdom and other European countries, the Financial Times reports. The U.K. campaign, called "Staying Alive," will include advertisements on buses and in the London Underground subway system. In addition, more than 700 U.K. Blockbuster video stores, a subsidiary of Viacom, will distribute brochures about HIV/AIDS prevention, and British MTV and 200 UCI movie theaters will air HIV/AIDS-related public service announcements. Also, Viacom will screen television programs produced by Paramount, such as "Frasier" and "Enterprise," that include HIV/AIDS-related plots, according to the Times. Carl Folta, senior vice president of Viacom, said, "The value of advertising runs to many millions of pounds," adding that the campaign "marks the beginning of a stepped process around Europe." Derek Bodell, chief executive of the National AIDS Trust, said, "The U.K., like many countries around the world, is experiencing rising rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. We have no excuse for this when we know how to prevent their transmission." The number of new HIV cases in the United Kingdom rose 26% last year, according to the Times. Viacom President and Chief Operating Officer Mel Karmazin said, "We encourage other media companies and outlets to use the 'Staying Alive' campaign materials free to get HIV/AIDS awareness messages out to the widest possible audience" (Burt, Financial Times, 10/2).
In May, Viacom, Kaiser Family Foundation and the BBC World Service Trust announced that they had partnered to launch a year-long HIV/AIDS awareness campaign in Africa and the Caribbean. The campaign, which is scheduled to begin this fall, includes 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. Both campaigns build on the success of the "KNOW HIV/AIDS" awareness campaign launched in the United States in January by Viacom and the Kaiser Family Foundation. That 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, 5/20).