Bill Bailey fronts Prostate Cancer UK ads

Prostate Cancer UK is launching The Sledgehammer Fund, a campaign fronted by comedian Bill Bailey, in a bid to highlight the scale of the disease in the UK and replicate the success breast cancer charities have had attracting support.

Bill Bailey fronts Prostate Cancer UK
Bill Bailey fronts Prostate Cancer UK campaign.

Prostate Cancer UK aims to encourage donations to fund research into treatment and cures for the disease and make men talk more openly about the issue.

Despite prostate and breast cancers claiming similar numbers of sufferers, research into prostate cancer received less than half the investment of breast cancer research last year – £17m compared with £41.6m, according to the charity. One in nine men are affected by prosate cancer while one in eight women are affected by breast cancer.

It is already the most common cancer in men and is accelerating at an “alarming rate” according to the charity. It is predicted to be the most common cancer by 2030.

Owen Sharp, chief executive of Prostate Cancer UK, says The Sledgehammer Fund has been created to counteract what a “legacy of under-funding and ignorance”.

He says: “Prostate cancer is simply not on the radar in the UK. Even though it kills one man every hour, that’s 10,000 men each year, most men and women don’t know enough about it. We need to follow the lead of the successful female movement against breast cancer and create a real change for men.

“We are going to need a very big sledgehammer to crack prostate cancer. This is more than a campaign. It is a call to arms and we are delighted that Bill Bailey is joining us and leading the charge.”

Bailey will appear in TV, digital and print ads as part of the New Year campaign. Ads ask people to “do yourself a favour and do your dad a favour” by donating £5. Activity will run until March. It is the charity’s first major campaign since its formation following the merger of two smaller organisations.

Movember, the fundraising initiative that encourages men to grow a moustache to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer charities including Prostate Caner UK. was criticised last year for the charity message becoming lost amongst the activity.

If you have a great charity sector case study that can demonstrate innovation and ROI then make sure you enter the Marketing Week Engage Awards 2013. The deadline is 15 January and you can find more here.

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