This ad appeared on Page 8 of the Guradian Body & Soul Section on Saturday 13th September (and no doubt elsewhere) it is designed, published, and promoted to support the rushed campaign to vaccinate the cohort of 12 to 13 year old school girls (Year 8) in England. (Click to enlarge text is reversed out of brick wall Guradian printing and half page size ad)
It is misleading. The bold copy line , "Armed for life" , whilst partially explained away in the reversed out text..."will help protect women for life" is untrue. "The new HPV vaccine , which protects against cervical cancer" is again untrue ...it provides partial protection only, and none against genital warts which the competing vaccine, Gardasil does.
The vaccine chosen, Cervarix ® supplied by Gaxo Smith Kline , a British company, affords limited protection for an unknown period (certainly not for life and probably for no more than 10 years - but we won't know how successul it is for many years) against strains (HPV 16 & 18) of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which are now considered to cuase some 70% of cervical cancers.
Whilst HPV is principally transmitted during vaginal intercourse, it can also be transmitted by other complicated routes anally, orally (however configured) , in same sex activity and on sex toys.
At a direct cost for the 3 stage vaccine of approximately £250 per girl, the total cost for the UK's 300,000 Year 8 girls (not boys) will this year be in the region of £60 Mn. plus administration, staffing, advertising etc., It must be remebered the Cervical smear policy will continue to detect cervical cancer in women - a service not available to women younger than 25.
A cute tattoo is featured which provides what might be considered as a novel way of lightening an otherwise pretty grim sbject for 12/13 yera old girls to handle - and is guaranteed to upset some parents. The schoolgirl receiving the vaccination can of course decide themselves to provide consent, parental consent is not required. .. Indeed the information on consent is very confusing... "It is your choice whether to have the vaccine or not ........ If you are in school, and aged under 16, your parent, or carer, is being asked to sign the consent form. Parental agreement is always advised, although it is not always necessary. If you are aged 16 or over it is important you sign and return the form yourself.
There is a website www.nhs.uk/HPV or you can call a helpline 0845 602 3303....@ 5p per minute plus. .. although the website confusingly directs you to a FREEphone number !
The hasty use of this vaccine for mass vaccination is ill considered, and amounts to a vast and needless experiment on our youth, principally for the commercial benefit of GSK. The choice of the British made vaccine which provides less protection than the US Gardasil ® vaccine looks highly suspicious and prompted by commercial motives.
On Friday, January 19, 2007 in a post Hooked ? .... or Horrified ? we brought readers attention to an NHS ad to promote the (then) current "get Unhooked" anti-smoking campaign in a nationwide £8Mn promotion. The ads attracted 774 complaints for the campaign created by Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy which ran across television, poster, national press and magazines, and online. The most complained of advertisement of 2007 - see Wednesday, May 16, 2007 Hooked ...Line and Sinker by the Advertising Standards Authority
If you agree and think the ad is misleading you can complain to the Advertising Standards Authority here .
For more information look at previous posts going back a long time here you can also look here www.nhs.uk/HPV ...evidently aimed at parents not children "the safest way to protect your child" due to regional differences (explained in the very, very small 5pt type on the ads) the ON Line ad has different sections for Wales / Scotland / Northern Ireland.
Well, the Scottish part of the website has a Glossary - it covers Consent..."Consent is a formal term for giving permission or agreeing to something." but not condoms ... that's because the Holy Roman Catholic Church has asked them not to mention condoms in the literature.... although condoms do raise their ugly head in at least one section. see post - Sunday, August 17, 2008 Vaccination of schoolgirls for HPV using Cervarix ® should be stopped. NOW
Whilst the website is large and has a great deal of information , nowhere does it mention Gardasil ®, the extra protection it affords, the greater experience in use, or the fact it has been available for use in the UK for nearly 12 months privately.
PS : The Department of Health 25th February 2008 appointed Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO to handle the ad campaign for the introduction of the new HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccination programme - across TV, radio, press, digital and PR. . (3 way pitch including CHI & Partners and WCRS)
The Department of Health On May 6th appointed Consolidated to manage a PR campaign to raise awareness of the new HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccination programme ..
PPS : NHS don't seem to learn or they have terrific loyalty, Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy are still doing anti smoking ads, this time NHS - Smoking, Don't Keep it in The Family http://www.visit4info.com/advert/NHS-Smoking-Dont-Keep-it-in-The-Family-NHS/60022