Monday, October 09, 2006

Ads use London bomb picture to hit home on suicide

by Daniel Farey-Jones
published October 6, 2006

LONDON - Controversial posters featuring the aftermath of the London bombings are to appear next week as part of a charity's attempt to stop the number of men who commit suicide each year reaching four figures.

Billboards will show the disturbing image of the bus ripped apart by one of the four suicide bombers who struck London on July 7 2005, killing 52 people.

The copy states: "Last year, 4 suicidal British men got our attention. Unfortunately, 973 others didn't. Help stop suicide. Text CALM to 80082."

Calm is the name of the charity, the Campaign Against Living Miserably, which has timed the promotion to coincide with World Mental Health Day on Tuesday October 10.

Ogilvy & Mather created the posters, and a series of lighter-hearted radio ads voiced by comedians David Baddiel, Matthew Horne and 'Green Room' stars Julian Rhind-Tutt and Stephen Mangan will also be part of the campaign.

Where the billboards are designed to grab the attention, the radio ads use humour to combat men's reluctance to seek help and talk about their problems, which Calm identified as a major contributing factor in suicide.

Jane Powell, national development coordinator at Calm, said: "We know that our billboard ads are controversial, but it was a conscious decision we made to provoke debate on this issue and draw attention to the tragic fact that, on average, three young men kill themselves every day in the UK. The public remains unaware of the sheer numbers of men who commit suicide each year."

The ads encourage people to visit the Calm website, which offers help, information and advice:


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