Calming Female Fears

Stone & Ward of Little Rock, Ark., last week launched a $1 million campaign for the Arkansas Department of Health’s breast cancer awareness program.
The educational effort is supplemented by about $2 million in leveraged pro bono placements.
The agency’s mission is to get the word out about Arkansas’ new BreastCare program, which for the first time provides state-funded information to women, plus free screening and treatment to qualified candidates.
Previously, said agency president Millie Ward, “the only option a woman [in Arkansas] would have was if she was covered by Medicaid or Medicare.”
The agency has produced two 30-second television commercials, including one spot that Ward said she hopes will allay women’s fears about being examined for breast cancer.
With images of frightened women seemingly being stalked by a predator, narration states: “I’m always looking for the next one who doesn’t know about detection. Says it could never happen. Won’t ask for help. She’s the one I want.”
“It seems among women in our state, particularly in those [lower economic] categories,” said Ward, “that there’s still a lot of fear and a lot of ignorance about this disease.”
Each of the TV ads provides a toll-free number for the BreastCare program, in which women 40 and over who earn certain incomes can receive free exams and treatment.
Besides paid media on daytime and late-night television, Ward has convinced a number of in-state companies and clients to make contributions to the program.