Every year, around 2,600 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in England and almost 700 women die from the disease. However, routine screening, which is free on the NHS, is at a 20-year low because of fears that it might be embarrassing or painful. While the numbers of women attending screening year on year is decreasing, the number of women engaging in bikini wax treatments in the UK is rising.
Working from this audience insight, and to follow on from Public Health England’s ‘Cervical Screening Saves Lives’ campaign, freuds, and its sister agency Proud Robinson + Partners, developed the ‘Life Saving Wax’ initiative – an innovative cross-sector partnership between Public Health England and beauty booking platform, Treatwell.
Utilising compelling insight which revealed 74% of women said they would listen to advice given by a beauty therapist, the initiative harnessed Treatwell’s network of salons and mobilised their beauty therapists across the UK to change the conversation around cervical screening. Armed with key facts and a supportive attitude, beauty therapists were trained to help women see screening as a potentially life-saving part of their routine.
During the initial roll out, over 1,500 beauty therapists signed up and the campaign received significant national media coverage and a total social reach of 11.5 million for #lifesavingwax. The campaign resulted in 100,000 additional cervical screening samples recorded over the 3-month campaign period, compared to the same period in the previous year demonstrating significant behaviour change, as noted by the UK’s Nudge Unit."