New York: A public awareness campaign launched in India to encourage use of condoms as part of efforts to encourage safe sex has won a United Nations award for excellence in campaigns that tackle priority issues being agitated by the world body.
The campaign, which used the slogan “Condom Bindaas Bol (Say Condoms Freely)”, was created to try to overturn a decline in condom use and sales in eight states in northern India, namely Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand that together comprise 45% of the national condom market.
It used two messages: that “condom” is not a delicate word and should be discussed freely and that condoms should be used by everyone, and not just by people in high-risk groups.
Celebrities endorsed the campaign in public service announcements (PSAs) for television; also a campaign podcast was issued on YouTube, editorial meetings were held with 20 publications and broadcast channels to encourage them to carry reports on the issue and a “viral campaign” featuring a shy customer being encouraged by a retailer to ask for condoms was mass mailed.
The UN Department of Public Information (DPI)announced that the campaign had won this years UN Grand Award, an award it jointly sponsors with the International Public Relations Association (IPRA). It will be presented in London early November.