CoppaFeel! has said that a controversial partnership with Page Three of The Sun was a success, having made 13 out of every 100 readers more confident about spotting the signs of breast cancer.
The awareness raising Check ‘em Tuesday campaign launched in March of this year with the charity taking over Page Three of The Sun every Tuesday for six months.
The partnership attracted criticism from groups including No More Page Three who said the choice of campaign was a “shame”.
However the charity said it was happy with the outcomes of the campaign, funded by The Sun and estimated to be worth £1.5m in free publicity.
It cited research released by The Sun found that UK women are four times more likely to check their breasts after seeing the campaign, and 80 out of 100 women who saw it are now confident that they know how to spot for signs of breast cancer. This is up from 67 out of 100 at the start of the campaign.
The research shows that 65 per cent of Sun readers who saw the campaign said that they would immediately go to the doctors if they noticed symptoms of breast cancer, compared to 46 per cent of the UK population overall.
The charity’s founder Kris Hallenga (pictured), a 28 year-old who was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer at the age of 23, said: “We always knew that this campaign was going to be bold, but we also knew that it would have a real impact.
“We exist to save lives by teaching women to spot the signs of breast cancer so it hugely rewarding to know that women feel more confident in spotting the signs and symptoms and are more likely to immediately go to the doctor.
“We have also been inundated with support for the campaign with people acknowledging how great this has been for raising awareness of CoppaFeel! and the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. I am extremely proud of what we have achieved together”.
The campaign has also seen brand awareness of CoppaFeel! within Sun readers increase to 85 per cent.
The charity also heard from four women who spoke of how the campaign directly resulted in them checking their breasts and receiving treatment for breast cancer. One of these is a 42 year old mother of four girls, who found a rash on her breast that she would usually have ignored. Having seen the campaign, she got it checked out and has since had successful surgery to remove the cancer.
David Dinsmore, editor of The Sun, said: “Working with Kris and Coppafeel! has been brilliant and the success of the Check ‘em Tuesday campaign is there for all to see. This research demonstrates the enduring impact of The Sun’s backing for charity campaigns.”
A fundraising drive earlier this month which involved an open letter to The Sun for Breast Cancer Awareness Month saw CoppaFeel!, which employs only seven staff, raise £10,000 on the first day. A spokeswoman for the charity said money is still coming in daily for the campaign.
Writing in The Sun, Hallenga said: “Having your support means we can get to a point where this charity can be sustainable without me. Whether that’s because I have been hit by that proverbial bus, or when my treatment no longer works and I can’t be the CEO of CoppaFeel! any longer.”