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O&M's polio television ads triumph at EFFIES

MUMBAI: A Unicef -supported television and radio campaign to fight polio won a silver medal at this year's EFFIE Awards given by the advertising industry. The ceremony took place a few days ago.

The media campaign, developed by Ogilvy & Mather and featuring Amitabh Bachchan, came first in the services category at the annual awards.

According to a official release, Unicef's India reprsentative Maria Calvis said, "This award is a credit to the hard work of the Government of India and its polio immunisation programme. The television and radio campaign has made an important contribution in raising awareness and motivating families to get their children protected from polio."

The release informs that the media blitz was launched in January 2003 for National Immunisation Day. A research study in UP commissioned by Unicef found that more than 94 per cent of respondents reported that they came to a polio booth after seeing the spots on television.

The campaign coincided with the immunisation of an additional six million children at polio booths across the state between November 2002 and February 2003.

Calivis added, "This final push to beat polio is on track, thanks to the efforts of the government and its partners. We will continue to rely on the media to get the message home that no child is safe from polio until the disease is totally eradicated."

About 112 polio cases have been reported so far in India this year, compared with 1600 cases in 2002. The next polio round is set for 14 September in 10 states covering northern India, Gujarat and West Bengal.

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