Television Station Acceptance of AIDS - Prevention PSAs and Condom Advertisements

AIDS is a deadly but preventable disease. Treatment costs are very high making prevention even more important. AIDS prevention messages could reduce the spread of the disease, but to be effective the ads/PSAs must: (1) have a message that motivates individual behavior to prevent the disease; (2) get the message communicated to the large audience of people needing the information (especially young people and drug users); and (3) communicate the message over a sustained period of time.

We conducted a large-scale national mail survey to determine how readily commercial television stations accept different types of AIDS messages (e.g., condom advertisements, condom or safe-sex public service announcements, and AIDS PSAs). We studied television because it has the largest audience of all mass media and can be especially effective in reaching young people, a group especially susceptible to contracting AIDS. Despite the importance of gaining mass audiences for AIDS prevention information, we were able to find only one published study which examined the willingness of any mass media (radio) to accept AIDS prevention messages (Roffeld and Abernethy, 1991).