Childhood Eye Cancer Trust campaign asks viewers to cure cancer with smartphones

13 May, 2015


Childhood Eye Cancer Trust

CHECT’s bold new ad campaign launches as part of World Retinoblastoma Awareness Week (May 10 – May 16).

LONDON The latest campaign from the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT), created by Wunderman, parodies advertising by popular smart phone manufacturers and urges viewers to use their phones for more than gaming and social media.

Latest research shows the average person will spend four years staring at their phone screen. People spend an average of three hours a month on Twitter and five hours a month on Instagram - all of which adds up to a lot of wasted time on your mobile device.

Instead, CHECT’s ads encourage people to put their phones to better use, and help detect and defeat a rare, deadly childhood eye cancer called retinoblastoma (Rb). Rb tumours can develop in the eyes of babies and young children, destroying their vision and threatening their life. The signs of Rb can be very subtle and a child may not appear unwell otherwise, which is why detection is so vital.

The camera function on a phone can detect Retinoblastoma through flash photography. When a tumour grows inside a child’s eye, it can reflect back as a white pupil in flash photos. This simple sign could save a child’s vision, eyes and life if spotted early.

In addition to diagnosis, the campaign suggests viewers go one step further by using their phone to help save the sight and lives of children diagnosed with Rb in future. Viewers simply text “EYES91 £3” to 70070 to donate £3 towards CHECT’s work that aims to defeat this disease for good.

Joy Felgate, CHECT’s chief executive, said: “Our hope is that our research will mean no child ever has to experience the trauma of losing their eye, their sight, or their life through eye cancer. It’s this mission that drives our research into a cure for the disease.

“Retinoblastoma is one of the most devastating illnesses children and families can face. Many children have to endure the loss of an eye followed by aggressive bouts of chemotherapy, years of examinations under a general anesthetic and prosthetic eye care – which, as you can imagine, is particularly traumatic for a toddler.’

Adds Chris Perry, CEO of Wunderman London:
Following on from the successful “The Next Photo” campaign, we knew we needed to deliver something extra special for RB week. We hope this campaign can deliver a similar impact ensuring awareness is raised.”

CHECT’s campaign draws its inspiration from real-life cases such as that of Arwen from Lincolnshire, where a smartphone photo prompted her mother to seek urgent help. Arwen’s mother noticed that a picture on her phone showed one eye with a white rather than a red reflex and used this to discover the symptom could mean a tumour.

Arwen was referred to a specialist. Arwen’s mother said: “She confirmed there was a growth in Arwen’s left eye and made an appointment three days later at Birmingham Children’s Hospital where the definitive diagnosis of retinoblastoma, grade D+ was made. At this stage we found ourselves making the heart-breaking decision to have the affected eye removed.”

Since the operation to remove her eye, Arwen has made a full recovery and is now a happy and contented child coming up to her first birthday.


Contact Information
For more information, please contact either:
Jane Austin, Persuasion Comms, jane@persuasioncomms.com
William Rolt, New Business Director, Wunderman UK, william.rolt@wunderman.com

About Wunderman
Consistently ranked among the world’s top digital, CRM and mobile agencies, Wunderman delivers deeply connected brand experiences, consumer engagements, data and insights, and healthcare marketing solutions that build brands and businesses. We blend creative, data and technology to connect customers and brands. Founded by Lester Wunderman in 1958, the agency now has 175 offices in 60 countries. Best Buy, Citibank, Coca-Cola, Ford, Microsoft, Pfizer, Telefónica, Shell, United Health Group and leading local brands are among our clients. Wunderman is part of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY) and Young & Rubicam Group. Learn more at www.wunderman.co.uk and @wundermanuk.

Registered Office: Greater London House, Hampstead Road, London. NW1 7QP. Registered Number. 1525238. Registered in: England and Wales.

About the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT)
The Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) has been established for more than 28 years in the UK, supporting children diagnosed with retinoblastoma (Rb) and their families, raising awareness of the disease and funding research into treatments and care of those affected. One of the key areas of CHECT’s work is to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of the disease to help reduce delays in diagnosis and improve the chances of saving the sight of the child affected. More information on CHECT and Rb is available at www.chect.org.uk

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