Government in new ad push for swine flu

A major radio, press and online campaign to promote the Government’s new swine flu hotline is launching Thursday (23 July).

The national campaign is being produced by DDB London, which has created all previous Government flu awareness work. It will promote the National Pandemic Flu Service, which will begin offering telephone and online advice to the public from the end of this week.

Meanwhile, confusion over swine flu advice to pregnant women could be cleared up with a targeted government information campaign via midwives, the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) has urged.

The campaigning organisation says the circulation of proactive, consistent and up-to-date information to pregnant women via midwives would be “extremely useful” following a weekend of confused headlines and conflicting public statements by government and health officials.

A panic was sparked by a report in a Sunday newspaper that claimed the NCT had warned women to delay conceiving until the pandemic is over.

However, the Government advice was based on a two-year-old general pandemic flu advice, which the NCT linked to on its website.

The advice also urged pregnant women to stay away from crowded areas and avoid unnecessary travel, sparking confusion and panic over whether they should carry on with normal routines and take public transport to busy workplaces or shopping centres.

Health secretary Andy Burnham moved to clarify the advice on Monday, urging expectant mothers to carry on as normal but observe good hygiene to avoid catching the bug.

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