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A Waikato health campaign has been recognised as one of the best in the world for raising awareness of and decreasing the transmission of sexually transmitted infections.

Hamilton-based independent advertising agency PANmedia created the ‘Itchy Burny Bits’ campaign for client Midlands Health Network, in partnership with Jane Morgan from Waikato DHB’s Sexual Health service, to increase awareness and normalise discussion around STIs among New Zealand teenagers. The campaign included interactive website itchyburnybits.com, designed as a confidential portal where a user’s online character encounters situations which may affect their sexual health.

PANmedia and the ‘Itchy Burny Bits’ campaign was declared a finalist in the world’s most coveted healthcare and wellness advertising honour, the Global Awards.

One of 152 entrants, PANmedia was shortlisted in the ‘Advertising to the Consumer Consumer/Patient: Health Institutions and Services’ category, and then nominated as a finalist, and is the only agency in the Southern Hemisphere to achieve this acknowledgement.

PAN studio director Kenny Harrison has travelled to the awards ceremony held in Sydney, Australia, to accept the award for this campaign.

“PAN is immensely proud of the achievement,” agency director Graeme Blake said. “Being shortlisted alone was a high honour considering our work beat out many international healthcare heavyweights, and goes to show how a great idea can travel beyond boundaries.”

Jury members were recruited from more than 20 countries, creating a world-wide collection of industry experts who announced the winners at ceremonies in New York and Sydney.


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