A long-term educational campaign by pharmaceutical company MSD Romania that successfully raised awareness of the dangers of cervical cancer among women and persuaded the government to address the topic has won a top SABRE award.

Protect her Wings!, created by Rogalski Damaschin Public Relations, took the Best in Show at this week’s 2019 EMEA SABRE Awards (part of the world’s largest PR awards programme delivered by The Holmes Report) for a project that set out to tackle what had become a major health issue.

In 2017, two out of three women in Romania were not getting tested against cervical cancer and three out four had never heard of the anti-HPV vaccine, the primary prevention method against the disease. The consequences were deadly as HPV was the leading cause of cancer deaths among Romanian women.

MSD Romania established a national conversation about cervical cancer via journalist briefings, public events and a roadshow as well as stunts like video-mapping on historic buildings. And when it introduced an advanced HPV vaccine claimed to protect against 90% of cervical cancer cases, it devised an HPV IQ test to educate women on the need for immunisation which it promoted via influential bloggers.

At the same time, it was talking to key policy stakeholders, from politicians to NGOs, in order to increase pressure on the government to act.

The campaign doubled the proportion of women being tested and more than doubled awareness levels while also winning a commitment from the government to allocate funds for HPV vaccination in 2019.

WARC subscribers can read all the award-winning EMEA SABRE papers here, as well as those from the recently announced Africa SABRE awards and In2 Innovation Awards.

The Best in Show at the Africa SABRE Awards went to a campaign for Siemens by Atmosphere and the King James Group. This used data from Lagos, Nairobi and Johannesburg to create unique fabrics for a truly African fashion collection that showed the power of data-connected cities.

Sourced from WARC