The Labor Party has promised to spend more than $8 million reviving the Slip Slop Slap campaign as part of its election pitch, in an announcement over the weekend.
The sun protection awareness campaign was originally launched by the Cancer Council in 1981 and ran for more than three decades, becoming well-known by generations of Australians.
The Cancer Council welcomed the renewed funding of $8.6 million over two years, claiming the campaign has played a role in reducing the social and economic cost skin cancer.
“Evidence shows prevention is by far the most effective investment in reducing skin cancer incidence, mortality and costs,” Cancer Council Australia’s Public Health Committee chair Anita Dessaix says.
“The federal Opposition’s $8.6 million plan to conduct a national sun protection awareness campaign over two years has great potential to reduce the burden of skin cancer in Australia.
“Previous media campaigns to raise sun protection awareness have been highly cost-effective, with returns of around $3.85 for every $1 invested.
“This is based on campaigns run before the costs of new drugs to treat melanoma escalated dramatically. So the investment is likely to provide even stronger returns today.
Remember the slip, slop, slap campaign? Well, it will come back under Labor because being the skin cancer capital of the world isn’t a title I want Australia to have. pic.twitter.com/9bAV9PrzIS— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) April 13, 2019
According to the Cancer Council, at least two in three australia will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70, with more than 2,200 dieing from the disease each year. The illness costs Australians more than $700 million annually.
Dessaix said the $8.6 million would go towards a national campaign across TV, radio and digital, claiming exposure to SunSmart TV advertising was strongly associated with improved attitudes and behaviours to sun protection across time periods and age groups.
The opposition party has also promised to invest $40 million to revive the National Tabacco Campaign, which the Cancer Council says could prevent more than 55,000 deaths and save $740 million in healthcare costs.
Cancer Council CEO professor Sanchia Aranda says it would be the most significant investment in anti-smoking ads at the national level for the general population in almost a decade.
“Reminding smokers of the harms they are doing to their health with a renewed National Tobacco Campaign will back up the excise regime and could get drops in smoking prevalence back on track.
“Setting a target of 10% smoking prevalence and backing it with a renewed funding commitment to one of Australia’s signature public health programs should be commended.”
Labor plans to run the campaign in “bursts” over a four-year period, which professor Aranda says will maximise its impact.
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