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Washington, D.C., Futures Group, .  p.The current status of the Caribbean contraceptive social marketing project, implemented by the Futures Group in conjunction with the Barbados Family Planning Association, is described. Contraceptive social marketing is a strategy in which commercial marketing techniques are used to promote the subsidized sale of contraceptive products. The contraceptives distributed in the Caribbean program are provided by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Under a contract with USAID, the Futures Group, a private management and marketing consulting firm, provides financial and technical assistance for the Caribbean project. The project represents the 1st attempt to implement a social marketing project on a regional basis. The program is in the initial implementation stage and, at the present time, involves only Barbados, St Lucia, and St Vincent. Later, the program will be extended to Antigua, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago. Many of these countries requested their own social marketing program, due in part to their high rate of teenage pregnancy; however, the cost of setting up a separate program in each of these countries would be prohibitive. For this reason the regional approach was adopted. Many elements of an existing social marketing program in Jamaica were transferred to the Caribbean project after a study demonstrated that these elements were culturally acceptable to other countries in the Caribbean region. The Caribbean project distributes Pearl, a standard dose oral contraceptive (OC), Pearl LD, a low dose OC, and Panther, a condom. The USAID-developed package for Panthers was used in the program, and the Pearl package, used in the Jamaican project, was updated for use in the regional program. The regional advertising firm of Corbin, Compton Associates, based in Barbados, was hired to promote the products. The agency developed point of purchase materials and mass media messages, using the successful Jamaican slogan, "if you care about life." Since Caribbean youth rely on their elders for advice, a mature voice is used to present family planning messages over the radio. Panther commercials explain that real men take responsibility for family planning. Frank B. Armstrong, Limited, a firm experienced in distributing pharmaceuticals, was hired to distribute the program's products. In Barbados, the products are currently available in almost all pharmacies, in 1/3 of the country's supermarkets, and 1/2 of the country's small retail outlets. In the other 2 countries, they are available in selected pharmacies and small shops. Prices for the products are set differently in each country and are well below the price of commercially marketed contraceptives. The program was officially launched in February, 1984, by holding receptions for pharmacists and physicians in each of the 3 countries. Numerous meetings will be held in the future to promote the program among community leaders, health providers, and medical associations. The initial reaction to the program was positive in all 3 countries. The program includes a research component. The Operation Research Project of Tulane University, a USAID funded project, will be in charge of the research component. The impact of the advertising campaign will be monitored, and information will be collected periodically to assess the impact of the program on contraceptive usage and purchases. The research protocol is expected to be applicable to other social marketing programs outside the Caribbean region. The Futures Group's resident advisor for the project is Gail A. Washchuck, and the project's director is Enric C. Connolly. In view of the smooth initiation of the project, the launch date for the programs in the remaining countries may be advanced to early 1985.
Trip report: Honduras Contraceptive Social Marketing Program, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, June 11 - June 18, 1984.
Washington, D.C., Futures Group, International Contraceptive Social Marketing Progam, 1984. 25 p. (Project No. AID/DSPE-CA-0087)At the request of the International Contraceptive Social Marketing Project, Tennyson Levy of the Tritora Corporation visited Honduras in June, 1984, to assist the Honduras Contraceptive Social Marketing Project to conduct market research to assess the impact of a 5-week advertising program. The campaign was undertaken to launch the introduction of the program's 1st product, Perla, a standard dose oral contraceptive (OC). During the visit the consultant was asked to assist in the development of an advertising plan for all 4 products which will be distributed by the program. The other 3 products are 1) Prebien, a low dose OC; 2) Guardian, a condom; and 3) Sana, a vaginal tablet. The consultant also helped develop research to guide the development of appropriate packages for the Guardian and Sana products. The distribution of Perla began in March, 1984, and the media campaign was conducted during May, 1984. Monthly sales for March amounted to 5271 cycles, and for May, 11,256 cycles. The campaign consisted of 2 45-second radio spots which ran 30 times a day for a month and a press ad. A visit to 12 pharmacies in June to obtain feedback about the advertising campaign led to the conclusion that the campaign increased awareness of Perla, of how it could be obtained, and of how much it cost; however, the campaign did little to alter women's fears and misconceptions about OCs. Recommendations were made for conducting a 2-phase advertising campaign to further promote Perla. The 1st phase will begin immediately and run for 8 weeks. The objective of the 1st phase will be to address women's fears and misconceptions about OCs. The 2nd phase will run from September 1984-July 1985, and the objectives of this phase will be to promote Perla as a method to avoid pregnancies which might keep women from attaining their personal goals, to encourage married women to use Perla to space their births and to limit family size, and to protect unmarried women from the fear of an unwanted pregnancy. Specific messages and channels for disseminating the messages for each phase of the campaign were specified. Communication strategies for the other 3 products were also provided. Guardian messages will seek to equate the macho image with responsible behavior. The Prebien campaign will be directed toward 16-24 year olds, and the Sana compaign will stress that vaginal tablets are a convenient method for lactating women, for teenagers, and for women who engage in sexual activities infrequently. A research strategy for conducting market research throughout the 13-month advertising campaign was developed. A previously developed survey questionnaire for evaluating the advertising campaign was redrafted, and an appropriate sampling strategy for the survey was developed. Pertinent research topics were identified, and a research time table was proposed. An advertising budget was also developed. Funds currently available for the campaign (US$93,000) are inadequate, and additional funds must be requested. The radio spots used in the initial Perla campaign are included in the appendix.