UNILAD launches world’s first blood bank for gay and bisexual men

• Initiative developed in partnership with FreedomToDonate and creative agency ELVIS • Campaign highlights the discriminatory UK law which states it is illegal for all gay or bisexual men to donate blood unless they are willing to abstain from sex for three months • Illegal Blood Bank opens on Saturday 23rd November in secret London location

LADbible Group has today revealed a major new initiative from UNILAD, which has a monthly reach of 430m, in partnership with pressure group FreedomToDonate. The push was developed in collaboration with creative agency ELVIS, which was appointed following a competitive pitch earlier this year. 

UNILAD, FreedomToDonate and ELVIS are partnering to launch the world’s first-ever blood bank for gay and bisexual men, highlighting the discriminatory UK law which states that it is illegal for all gay or bisexual men to donate blood – even if it’s perfectly safe to use – unless they are willing to abstain from sex for three months.

Located in a secret London location, the Illegal Blood Bank will offer gay and bisexual men the opportunity to donate their blood in protest against the current law, and to highlight that there is a safe supply of blood currently being ignored due to the discriminatory legislation, which is much needed and could benefit the entire UK population.

Working with FreedomToDonate, the pressure group seeking to make blood donation more inclusive, UNILAD is calling for a fairer blood donation system, where everyone is treated equally and assessed on their individual behaviour, not their sexual orientation.

To support, the MSM community can register to become a donor on November 23rd at www.bloodwithoutbias.com. Allies of the cause, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, can raise awareness and show their support by using #BloodWithoutBias on their social channels or signing the petition here

The launch of the Illegal Blood Bank today is supported by a campaign which will harness UNILAD’s global audience of over 430 million, including its 44 million Facebook followers, and will also include paid social, PR and OOH activity.

The initiative is the first campaign that LADbible Group has launched since acquiring UNILAD in October 2018, in line with its ongoing drive to use its influence for good. 

Owned by LADbible group, UNILAD provides news and entertainment with a ‘social-first’ approach. It has offices in London and Manchester.

Nick Hodgkins, Brand Marketing Lead, LADbible Group, said: “With such a huge social following, UNILAD’s content has a massive impact on our audience globally. We believe it’s our responsibility to leverage this to raise awareness about the issues facing young people and the topics that matter in their lives. Our partnership with FreedomToDonate aims to bring equality to the blood donation process. We want to help achieve a situation where anyone who can safely donate blood is able to do so, and pave the way for blood without bias across the board, ending any discrimination towards other groups too.”

Ethan Spibey, Founder, FreedomToDonate, said: “We’re very excited to work with LADbible Group and ELVIS on this campaign. Their approach really hit the mark and this brilliant initiative is a great way to raise awareness of the issues around blood donation for gay and bisexual men. It’s amazing to have the opportunity to engage UNILAD’s huge audience and get their support for our cause.”

Tanya Brookfield, CEO, ELVIS, commented: “As a business, we are committed to championing diversity, inclusivity and representation in our industry, and in society. UNILAD is an incredible platform which offers us the opportunity to genuinely make a difference, at scale. This engagement is the single most important social cause-driven project that we have ever had the honour of working on.”

James Hudson, Associate Creative Director, ELVIS, added: “Our creative plays on the absurdity of the situation we find ourselves in – the fact that in 2019, it’s still illegal for sexually active gay and bi men to give blood, even if their blood is perfectly safe to use. It’s a shame we’ve had to create something that shouldn’t need to exist, but I’m incredibly proud to be a part of it, as this work aims to affect real change. It transcends traditional advertising and doesn’t just tell, it shows the world that there’s an ocean of much needed life-saving blood being completely ignored due to discriminatory legislation based on bias.”

Source: Elvis

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