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Treat Yourself Better Without Antibiotics

by Red Door Communications for the Proprietary Association of Great Britain and Pharmacy Voice

Summary of work

Treat Yourself Better Without Antibiotics is a public health campaign to highlight unnecessary use of antibiotics for symptoms of winter ailments. The campaign is a strong example of the Government, healthcare organisations, healthcare professionals and commercial brands working together to improve patient health and ease NHS workload. 

Research shows that people are not aware of the normal symptom duration of upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) and so visit the GP typically after 4-7 days to seek reassurance, but also expecting an antibiotic prescription. The symptoms of URTIs account for 11.5 million consultations per year at a cost of £35.2 million. 

The campaign educated the public on normal symptom duration and provided advice on what they could do to better treat themselves with pharmacy support to keep people out of GP surgeries and A&E. Consumer media relations’ activity generated 76 articles reaching over 400 million people. Over 20,000 people visited the website and the campaign logo featured on 18 stakeholders’ product television and print advertisements. 

Post campaign consumer research showed the campaign reached 29% of the population (approximately 11 million) and generated a positive shift in behaviour with nearly half (47%) saying they now know exactly when it’s necessary to seek a GP’s advice when suffering with cold and flu symptoms.

Judges comments

This campaign achieved good coverage and had a strategy with a consistent message for patients. People can get confused with multiple messages, but the focus of this campaign allowed patients to feel empowered. There was outstanding stakeholder collaboration on a very patient-focused campaign that led to changes in patient understanding and behaviour.


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Treat Yourself Better Without Antibiotics - by Red Door Communications for the Proprietary Association of Great Britain and Pharmacy Voice

View the Communiqué Awards 2014 Photos

Category Sponsors

Annabelle Sandeman, Huntsworth Group – Co-chair Communiqué Awards

Key dates

Entry deadline 11 March 2021
Extended entry deadline 18 March 2021
(additional fee applies)
Judging days May 2021
Awards Ceremony 1st September 2021

Contact information:

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