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No Rubba, no Hubba Safer Sex Campaign Stretched

20 May 2005

No Rubba, no Hubba Safer Sex Campaign Stretched

The high awareness 'No Rubba No Hubba' safer sex advertisements will be returning to TV screens soon.

The campaign, which ran for three months over summer, struck a cord with teenagers prompting half of those surveyed after the campaign, to say they are now more likely to use a condom if they have sex.

The campaign was launched by Health Minister Annette King last November in an effort to reduce high rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in sexually active teenagers by encouraging them to use a condom every time they have sex.

The campaign ended in February this year, but following a promising evaluation, the advertisements will be again broadcast for the next six weeks.

Campaign spokesperson Sally Hughes says the challenges of mounting a safer sex campaign don't finish when the advertising stops, and even evaluating the summer campaign has been demanding.

"We know that phone surveys asking questions about sex, particularly of teenagers, face strong barriers in terms of firstly getting to teenagers and then getting them to talk frankly about the campaign. And getting to Maori, Pacific and lower socio-economic teenagers is harder still.

"The Ministry opted for a new method of evaluating the $1 million plus campaign, through surveying people who had registered with a survey website.

?For this campaign, the Ministry opted for using an on-line method for evaluation, something which is used overseas, but which is relatively new in New Zealand. Compared to phone surveys it is likely that we got a stronger response from teenagers with freer and franker comments, but we know that any method of surveying this group is difficult - particularly when trying to survey Maori, Pacific and lower socio-economic groups."

"Unfortunately there are limitations in any type of evaluation, but we see our survey results as demonstrating that the campaign's made a strong start in raising awareness of the need to use condoms among those surveyed," Sally Hughes said

"Ninety seven percent of about 300 young people (15-19 year olds) responding to the survey were aware, when prompted of the campaign and of those 65% had discussed it with friends. That shows that the hubba message - and what respondents called its "wicked" animation - has had an impact with young people."

"It is, however, only one step on a journey to make young people protect themselves and their partners against STIs. The importance of the evaluation lies as much in the pointers it gives us for how to build on this first step."

?I have had young people tell me that the campaign slogan has come in very handy for discussing safer sex. It gives them a less embarrassing way of talking about condoms," Sally Hughes said.

Dr Nicky Perkins a sexual health specialist agrees the campaign's had high awareness but says attitudes take longer to shift.

"We aren't seeing a change in the proportion of young people who think having a condom is still necessary, when having sex with someone they are going out with or know well.

?Clearly we still have some work to do in conveying the message to young people that they should use a condom every time they have sex,? says Dr Perkins.

Key findings: 49% the respondents indicated the campaign had ?definitely? or ?probably? increased their likelihood of using condoms in the future. The percentage was the same (49%) for Maori but higher for Pacific people (63%). The proportion of respondents who said they would still have sex if no condom was available decreased significantly between the pre and post campaign (36%, down from 46%). There has not been a change in proportion of youth that agree having a condom is still necessary when having sex with someone they are going out with or know well. There has been a significant reduction in the proportion of Maori respondents who said they would still have sex if no condom was available (43%, down from 59%).

Peter Abernethy Communications Manager ph: 04-496-2008 or 021-366-111 http://www.moh.govt.nz/media.html Background Campaign website: http://www.hubba.co.nz/ Television commercials: http://www.hubba.co.nz/content/tv-commercial.aspx Questions and answers about the campaign (below the media release): http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/aa6c02e6249e7359cc256e7f0005521d/ad13970b020d87a9cc256f5300725d2e?OpenDocument#2

Further information about the evaluation: The evaluation (link to the evaluation report) of the campaign was based on market research to measure attitudes and behaviours of 15 to 19 year olds, in particular: · Awareness of STI and condom advertising. · Attitudes towards condoms. · Level of sexual activity and use of condoms. · Perceptions of what can and can not protect against STIs.

In determining how best to do the market research the Ministry considered the:

· sample of respondents needed to represent 15-19 year old New Zealanders · methodology needed to be replicable (i.e. the same research method for both the before and after campaign surveys) · low number of households with 15-19 year olds (12 percent) · very low response rates to surveys of people aged 15-19 years · highly personal and sensitive nature of the interview topic · need to include Maori and Pacific youth in the survey · total budget for the evaluation was proportionate to the size of the campaign

On balance, the best approach to the pre and post quantitative surveys was considered to be through an on-line survey, using an on-line group selected from people who had already registered with a survey and marketing site.

The advantages to this approach are that the on-line method encourages:

· confidential and frank responses · easy access to the target groups, as the on-line group can be easily selected from those people in the target age group already registered with the site, including Maori and Pacific Peoples (i.e. just people in the target population can be approached to undertake the survey) · repeat surveys · a higher response rate from people aged 15-19 years.

The disadvantages to this approach are:

· it limits the potential respondents to those registered with the survey and marketing website · it limits the potential respondents to those with internet access (around 70 percent of New Zealand households with children have some access to the internet, though often this is through access at school) · Maori and Pacific Peoples, and people of lower socio-economic profiles are likely to be under-represented (this is also a recognised issue in traditional survey methodologies). In the case of the research, this was overcome by using a stratified sample where smaller populations of interest (i.e. Maori and Pacific) were proportionally sent a higher number of invitations to participate in the survey than other populations. · there is some incentive to participants which may affect responses - individuals who fill in surveys are awarded points, which when sufficient points accrue are able to be exchanged for goods or services.

The SmileCity (on-line website) registered group

The total number of people registered on-line was 83,000, including 10,000 people from the target age group. Nine percent of the on-line population aged 15 to 19 years old are Maori and three percent are Pacific. The population for the survey is people who have chosen to join SmileCity and is only people who have access to the internet. The sample for the safer sex survey was a randomly chosen sample from this already self selected group registered with the SmileCity website http://www.smilecity.co.nz/. Respondents were NOT able to self select into the survey nor were they able to complete both the pre and post survey.

Validity check

A number of studies have been completed overseas to validate on-line surveying as a comparable way of conducting market research. Two New Zealand studies, by the market research company TNS, were undertaken in 2002 and 2004. (TNS was contracted to evaluate the Hubba campaign.)

· A 2002 study of 5,000 people on-line compared with 5,000 people who were given a questionnaire and asked to complete it. This research found that response to the questions were similar across both surveys.

· A 2004 study compared people surveyed on-line with people surveyed by telephone. This survey was completed by 750 on-line and 1,000 people by telephone. The survey found that overall responses to a number of social response questions were very similar.

ENDS

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