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New cervical cancer campaign urges North West women ‘Don’t Keep ‘Em Crossed’

Influential is helping North West Cancer Research to encourage women to attend their cervical screening appointments with its latest campaign.

Don’t Keep ‘Em Crossed launched this week in a bid to shine a spotlight on how cervical cancer rates across the North West are 19% higher than the rest of England.

However, despite the stark difference to the national average, almost one-in-three women aged 25-49 do not attend their screening appointments when invited, meaning potentially harmful changes may not be picked up and treated early.

The campaign kicked off with the installation of crossed mannequin legs at Manchester Piccadilly Station, stopping commuters, shoppers and visitors in their tracks and encouraging them to think about when their last screening was.

All women and people with cervixes aged 25-64 are invited to cervical screenings – or smear tests – to check the health of their cervix and a small sample of cells are taken for analysis.

Depending on the results, you may be asked to attend for further tests or, if all samples are normal, then they will be invited for their next smear test in three years’ time.

Karen Swan, director at Influential, said: “Our strategy was clear for this campaign – we needed to raise awareness of high rates of cervical cancer in our region and, importantly, highlight the issue of young women not attending their smear tests.

“We wanted a campaign that was playful and a bit cheeky in order to grab our audience’s attention so the strapline, Don’t Keep ‘Em Crossed, was perfect. Cervical cancer screening is often a cause for worry, with lots of women putting it off, but we’re hopeful that our campaign has helped change this.”

The campaign also incorporates influencer engagement, with a collection of North West-based celebs and influencers getting involved in a ‘thunder-clap’ moment on their social feeds.

Influential implemented an out-of-home strategy whereby campaign posters were displayed at targeted venues, such as hairdressing and beauty salons, gyms, bars and coffee shops in an effort to reach its audience.

In addition, a complementary digital campaign will run for a total of four weeks.

Cara Newton, head of marketing and fundraising at North West Cancer Research, said: “In the North West, there is a clear pattern of cancer rates being higher than the national average, something which we are dedicated to changing through our research.

“Cervical cancer is 19% more likely in the North West and women have the opportunity to reduce their risk through screening – that’s why this campaign is so important. We wanted a real ‘moment’ for the launch of the campaign and, working with Influential, we were able to do just that.”

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