Executive Summary

The Heart Foundation "Serial Killer' campaign aimed to cut through Australians' dangerous complacency about our most prolific killer, one that strikes 51 times every day, killing 18,500 Australians each year.1 Highlighting the 'criminal' behind Australia's biggest killer, heart disease, the campaign called on the Government to invest in the prevention of heart disease and on Australians to take steps to assess their own levels of risk.

The campaign was dramatically successful. Within the first 7 days, the Government agreed to fund life-saving Heart Health Checks for Australians at risk of heart disease, something the Heart Foundation had been advocating for over 10 years to achieve. In addition, the campaign alerted Australians to their risk of heart disease and what they can do about it via the newly launched Heart Age Calculator.

Challenge, Objectives & Strategy

Australia's investment in preventive health is low by the standards of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Heart disease costs the Australian economy more than $7.3 billion per year, with close to $3.4 billion in healthcare expenditure alone. Yet, our spending on preventive health falls in the bottom third of OECD nations, lagging well behind New Zealand and Canada.2 The Heart