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Society launches MS awareness campaign

Published on 28/09/07 at 01:19pm

The MS Society has launched a campaign to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis and the help the patient group can offer to sufferers.

Putting The Pieces Together features people with MS to highlight the shattering impact of the condition on relationships, work and social life.

MS Society chief executive Simon Gillespie said: "People with MS are more likely to see their relationships fail, to lose their jobs, or to find themselves isolated as their symptoms push friends away.

"But with the right information and support, you can do more than ever to try to manage the impact of MS. That's what the MS Society is here for."

The society gathered ideas for the campaign from the experiences of more than 200 people with MS through its web forums and research meetings.

The resulting adverts use quotes from MS sufferers on subjects such as not wearing shoes with high heels - "because the last thing I need is another reason to fall over".

The symptoms of MS include loss of mobility, muscle spasms, fatigue and depression, and the condition can strike without warning.

Gillespie said: "We believed it was vital to use words and images that reflected the real experiences of people with MS. There's no point using models and artificial language when you are dealing with such a devastating condition.

"People who live with MS know what the real story is, which is why our campaign strives to tell that story."

The adverts also seek to tackle ignorance about MS, with research showing the public believe it to be an 'old person's condition', confining sufferers to a wheelchair and that it is terminal.

In the UK, 50 people are diagnosed with MS every week, most of whom are in their 20s and 30s, and the campaign's models accordingly include a 22-year-old mother of twins and a 24-year-old aspiring university student.

The adverts were created by design consultancy Spencer du Bois, whose other clients include the Alzheimer's Society, Breast Cancer Campaign and the Terrence Higgins Trust.

The MS Society also worked with Total Media Charities & Campaigning Organisations, currently the UK's only not-for-profit media planning and buying agency.

The series of four adverts will be run on billboards, on the web, in magazines and in the national and regional press and the society expects to gain more than £1.2 million from them - more than double its investment.

To view the four adverts click here



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