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Studies in Family Planning. April 1976; 7(4):101-108.Social marketing, i.e., the application of commercial marketing techniques to social aims, is 1 means of building family planning into the daily nonclinical structure of rural society in developing countries. An experiment in the social marketing of condoms in rural Kenya was undertaken over a 2 1/2-year period. The pretest market research and a detailed marketing strategy are described. The experimental program proved that condoms can be used to involve rural African males in the process of family planning. The experiment further proved that commercial marketing can provide a nonmedical supplement to established clinical family planning programs. Advertising was found to be necessary to the success of the program with radio and point-of-purchase materials providing the cheapest and most effective coverage. The advertising aspect of the program seems to have increased the level of family planning knowledge and practice among the target population. The success of the program is attributed to the local involvement provided by social marketing. Such a project is amenable to exact evaluation which can prove useful to future programs. It was felt that commercial distribution by mobile van units could be used with other types of contraceptives.
San Francisco, San Francisco Press, 1974. 292 p.Despite its high effectiveness, lack of side effects, ease of use, and low cost, condom utilization has declined in the U.S. from 30% of contracepting couples in 1955 to 15% in 1970. The present status of the condom, actions needed to facilitate its increased availability and acceptance, and research required to improve understanding of factors affecting its use are reviewed in the proceedings of a conference on the condom sponsored by the Battelle Population Study Center in 1973. It is concluded that condom use in the U.S. is not meeting its potential. Factors affecting its underutilization include negative attitudes among the medical and family planning professions; state laws restricting sales outlets, display, and advertising; inapplicable testing standards; the National Association of Broadcasters' ban on contraceptive advertising; media's reluctance to carry condom ads; manufacturer's hesitancy to widen the range of products and use aggressive marketing techniques; and physical properties of the condom itself. Further, the condom has an image problem, tending to be associated with venereal disease and prostitution and regarded as a hassle to use and an impediment to sexual sensation. Innovative, broad-based marketing and sales through a variety of outlets have been key to effective widespread condom usage in England, Japan, and Sweden. Such campaigns could be directed toward couples who cannot or will not use other methods and teenagers whose unplanned, sporadic sexual activity lends itself to condom use. Other means of increasing U.S. condom utilization include repealing state and local laws restricting condom sales to pharmacies and limiting open display; removing the ban on contraceptive advertising and changing the attitude of the media; using educational programs to correct erroneous images; and developing support for condom distribution in family planning programs. Also possible is modifying the extreme stringency of condom standards. Thinner condoms could increase usage without significantly affecting failure rates. More research is needed on condom use-effectiveness in potential user populations and in preventing venereal disease transmission; the effects of condom shape, thickness, and lubrication on consumer acceptance; reactions to condom advertising; and the point at which an acceptable level of utilization has been achieved.
American Journal of Public Health. October 1972; 62(10):1328-1330.A new approach to the task of patient education that recognized the emotional components of human behavior and used appropriate advertising principles was established in a magazine called True to Life. The goal was to design literature aimed at problems of contraceptive continuation rather than problems of initial acceptance; the objective was to help a woman contracept effectively. True to Life contains 6 stories, 3 feature columns, 1 graphic feature, and 2 public service ads. Stories are about characters with whom readers can have healthy identification. Postpartum interviews have indicated that the magazine has been successful.