ITV Tackles Prostate Cancer

There is no better example of the power of TV advertising than the impact a public awareness campaign can have on viewers’ behaviour. Earlier in the year, our From The Heart campaign drove a record number of responses to the NHS Organ Donor Register, with 48,000 applying to join in just one day.

In the lead-up to Father’s Day 2013, Prostate Cancer UK enlisted ITV to drive similar action from the men of the country. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with over 40,000 men diagnosed every year yet, in comparison with breast cancer, little is known about the disease’s signs and symptoms or testing procedures.

ITV concluded that as many men have an aversion to regular doctor’s visits, targeting women was the more tactical approach and ‘Stand By Your Man’ was created.

With the strapline “Let’s all pledge to make a difference this Father’s Day” the campaign, a harmonious collaboration between ITV commercial and Corporate Social Responsibly, sought to raise awareness about prostate cancer by sharing stories from celebrities and our viewers about their experiences of the disease.

During the week, many strands throughout ITV programming tackled the subject. Among those, Emmerdale actress Gemma Oaten appeared on Daybreak and ITV News’ Calendar programmes to talk about her father’s battle with prostate cancer, and actress Tasmin Outhwaite appeared on ITV News urging men to recognise the signs: "Look at what the symptoms are, get yourself checked out and anyone else that you think might have it - in the same way the guy did for my Dad - tell them, inform them. Keep informing people,” she said.

In other campaign activity, a short film about prostate cancer starring Ray Winstone, Tamzin Outhwaite, Charles Dance, John Simm and Neil Stuke screened on ITV4 on Father’s Day. About the film, Stuke said, “We are trying to target the sort of men who go to footie matches. 'Real men' who are rather famously unconcerned about health issues. These are the sort of men we need to tap into.” (watch the trailer here ).

For more info on the Stand By Your Man, visit and and stay tuned for our Case Study, detailing the full results of the campaign.