‘Movember message being lost on social media’

The men’s health message behind Movember is at risk of becoming sidelined by its success as a “fashion” movement, according to a report that analyses social media reactions to the charity initiative.

Men’s health message may be getting lost in Movember.

Less than 10 per cent of the social media mentions about Movember relate to raising awareness of men’s health issues. Just 17 per cent of posts between 1 and 25 of November discuss fundraising and donating, according to the report by Precise.

Movember aims to raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues. In the UK funds raised go to Prostate Cancer UK.

Social media mentions of Movember increased 111 per cent to 1.6 million mentions between 1 and 25 November this year compared to 2011 the report found. Growth has slowed, from a 189 per cent increase the previous year and 741 per cent the year before, indicating the increasing commercialisation of the fundraising initiative is having a negative impact on sentiment, says the study.

The ‘Friends of Movember’ brand partners, which include Gillette attracted relatively little attention on social media and their association prompted the largest amount of negativity, according to the research.

Precise counted nearly 70,000 posts from the UK on 1 November, and a daily average of 11, 000 mentions. Celebrity supporters such as Michael Owen, Stephen Fry, Ricky Gervais, Alan Carr, Jamie Oliver and Richard Branson attracted a high volume of attention on social media.

James Withey, head of brand insight at Precise, says: “While more and more people are clearly aware of and excited by Movember, the original aim of the movement seems at risk of being overtaken by the excitement around growing moustaches. With relatively few tweets about raising awareness of men’s health, it would appear the good causes driving Movember have slipped from front of mind.

“There are also some early signs that an adverse reaction against perceived commercialisation may have started to take hold. In order to sustain the phenomenon, the Movember organisers may benefit from going back to their roots and drawing more overt links with its original cause, perhaps by using the celebrities who have done so much to popularise Movember and drive awareness.”

Movember was not able to provide a comment at the time of writing.

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