Morning-after pill TV ad to be shown for first time
The first TV advert in the UK for the morning-after pill will be screened today.
The broadcast will be shown after the 9pm watershed across a range of channels, including ITV, Channel 4 and Sky.
It comes after a row in recent weeks about the possibility of TV adverts for condoms and sexual health services.
In the advert, pharmaceutical company Bayer Schering Pharma will point out that its pill — Levonelle One Step — is effective for up to 72 hours after contraception has failed, although it is more effective the sooner it is taken.
The advert will show a woman waking up next to her partner and then taking a trip to a pharmacy to ask for the drug, which is the only morning-after pill available to women in the UK.
A spokeswoman from the firm said: “Although most women try to avoid contraception mishaps, accidents can happen; daily routines can be disrupted and condoms are not 100% effective.
“If regular contraception fails, women need to know that emergency contraceptive options are available and where advice can be sought.
“However, our research has shown not all women are aware of the facts about the emergency contraceptive pill and that some women cross their fingers and hope for the best instead of taking action when their regular contraception lets them down.
“We believe TV advertising plays an important role in informing women about Levonelle One Step and how and where it can be obtained.”
The morning-after pill is available to women aged 16 and over to buy at most pharmacies. It is also available by contacting GP surgeries, family planning clinics and NHS walk-in centres.
Emily James, spokeswoman for Marie Stopes International, said: “Marie Stopes International is delighted that emergency contraception, a vital component in the prevention of unintended pregnancies, will be advertised on TV.
“A condom breakage can be a nightmare for many women.
“Such adverts will inform and educate women about what to do in this situation. The sooner a woman takes emergency contraception after having unprotected sex, the more effective it is.”