Title: The Illegal Blood Bank
Media: Outdoor, Social, Digital
Country: United Kingdom
Date Of Campaign: 14/11/2019
Background: 1 in 4 of us will depend on donated blood in order to stay alive. Yet millions of pints cannot be collected due to an outdated, discriminatory law that puts a blanket ban on all sexually active gay and bisexual men from donating.UNILAD’s brand goal is to share brave ideas by shining a light on little known issues. The platform has a broad audience, reaching 60% of Facebook users, with very diverse views. Our brief was to get this audience talking to each other with an idea that championed a fairer, more equal society.Our objectives were to raise awareness of blood donation discrimination in order to increase public pressure for change, and build brand equity.
Idea: We worked with FreedomToDonate to create a visceral, awareness driving campaign using real human blood donated by gay and bisexual men, that pressurised the government to change the law.We opened The Illegal Blood Bank: the world’s first blood bank for gay and bisexual men.In just one day, we collected enough blood to save 78 lives.We tested the blood to the same medical standards as the UK national health service, and 100% of it was safe to use.Then we used it to make a statement the government couldn’t ignore. On the first day of work for the UK’s new government, we exhibited the real human blood we collected in bespoke adshels outside parliament and across London. Showing that governments all over the world are ignoring millions of pints of safe, lifesaving blood with legislation based in bias, not science.
Results: This idea shone a light on a little-known piece of discrimination, and implemented and proved a process that can feasibly be used to make UK blood donation fairer. The conversations we have started make a positive contribution to the Sustainable Development Goal, Reduced inequalities.We raised awareness to increase pressure for change:· Awareness of ‘blood donation discrimination: 81% exposed vs 65% control· 62% of those who saw our content were ‘Extremely in favour’ of changing the policy, vs 46% controlWe sparked action:· 5,000+ pints pledged· The campaign prompted an NHS response, explaining they will investigate ‘individualised risk assessment’. They committed publicly to publishing the outcome in 2020.We successfully piloted a new, safer screening process for blood donation· In one day, utilising ‘individualised risk assessment’, UNILAD collected enough blood to save 78 lives.· All the blood was deemed 100% safe to use