West & Vaughan to Promote Sexual Health in National Ads

Herpes Advice Center, a for-profit entity funded by the pharmaceutical industry, hired West & Vaughan of Durham, N.C., to handle its national advertising.
The client, based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., reviewed West & Vaughan along with two undisclosed New York shops.
Although proximity was a factor, West & Vaughan’s “sense of humor in the [ads] they showed us, and a certain directness” appealed to Herpes Advice Center (HAC), said the client’s education director, Charlie Ebel.
West & Vaughan presented a media plan for HAC, and samples of work for other clients, said agency principal Tom Vaughan.
“[HAC] felt like we had the ability to mix a very serious subject with a more realistic [message], not the heavy voice of doom,” Vaughan said.
Indeed, West & Vaughan’s newspaper campaign is far from somber, at least at first glance. One ad features mostly white space with body copy forming the image of a penis; another execution depicts copy in the shape of female genitalia.
The goal of the campaign is to promote HAC’s toll-free hotline and Web site (www.advicecenter.com). Supported by radio, the print ads are scheduled to break this month in 25 U.S. markets where HAC has affiliate clinics that offer expertise in sexual health issues.
According to HAC, 44 million Americans, about one in five, have genital herpes. An estimated four out of five of those infected do not realize they have the disease.