McEnroe in GSK prostate cancer awareness campaign

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GlaxoSmithKline recruited tennis great John McEnroe for an awareness campaign about prostate cancer.

The print PSA campaign, by the Entertainment Industry Foundation's Stand Up To Cancer initiative, features an image of McEnroe having just had blood drawn and the tagline “Get serious,” urging men over 40 to get tested for the disease. The copy relates McEnroe's surprise upon learning, following his father's diagnosis with prostate cancer, that one in six men in the US gets the disease.

In addition to the print PSA, McEnroe put in appearances on CNN's Larry King, CBS's Early Show and Fox's Hannity. Ads will run in magazines like Fortune, People and Sports Illustrated.

Robert Perry, senior director, US product communications at GSK, said McEnroe gets the attention of men in the target age. “They've shared their adult years with him and seen him go from rebel to statesman,” he said.  

Creative was handled by McCann Healthcare, while GSK's men's health agency, Taylor PR, handled communications.

GSK helped develop the campaign and funded it, including compensating McEnroe, whom the company had been in talks with before it joined Stand Up To Cancer. McEnroe is 50—the age at which men were, until recently, urged to get tested for prostate cancer. In April, the American Urological Association (AUA), revised its recommendations to advise men 40 and up to get tested.

In addition to GSK, the Electronic Industry Foundation and the AUA, partners in the campaign included Men's Health Network, Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Prostate Conditions Education Council.

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