FP7 Encourages Breast Cancer Checks in a Novel Way

In Lebanon, breast cancer is the second most prevalent cause of death among women. And, more than 70% of women do not get themselves checked. The reason: 64% of women surveyed are afraid to find out if they have breast cancer, fearing the consequences of treatment, especially hair loss. This is especially significant in a country where women are much more conscious of their appearance than in many other Middle Eastern countries.

So FP7 Beirut, part of McCann Worldgroup, partnered with Murr Television, a leading media station in Lebanon, and a volunteer, Francoise Freifer. And through a completely unscripted video intervention, Francoise decided to voluntarily shave her head to show her mother the importance of having an annual check-up for breast cancer. The reason? She never wants to see her mom lose her hair from chemotherapy.

Through “I’m going bald, so you don’t have to," Francoise invited women and men viewing the video (on her social networks as well as on Murr Television’s social media channels) to go bald for the women in their lives, and make a statement to women about the importance of regular checks, so that they didn’t have to suffer the agony of breast cancer.

This marked the first time in the region that shaving one's head was used as a nationwide calling for prevention. The response was instant and huge – in a country with a total population of 4.5 million, the videos have been viewed by over 1.5 million people. And news coverage has been widespread.

Ambient stickers placed in hair salons as well as pop-up salons across Lebanon, invited women and men in Lebanon to go bald, encouraging the women in their lives to get themselves checked, as well as donate their hair to NGOs to create wigs for breast cancer patients.

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