Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Alberta’s latest STIs campaign: sexy or gross?

Do you have "sex germs?" Alberta does, and it's not happy about it.

The province has launched a new public awareness campaign to combat the rising number of gonorrhea cases. The campaign features two posters of good looking young people with red eyes and snot dripping from their noses.

"A cold isn't the only thing you could catch" is the campaign's tagline.

Story continues below advertisement

The website launched to accompany the campaign says: "With growing reports of gonorrhea cases, sexually active Albertans should be reminded of the seriousness of STIs. We seem to have developed good habits in avoiding everyday germs, but what about sex germs?"

Buzzfeed, which apparently has its own view of leaky noses, called the posters "sexy." Which is gross.

This isn't the first time that Alberta has devised a provocative ad campaign to curb growing rates of sexually transmitted infections.

In 2011, facing the highest rate of syphilis in the country, the province launched a campaign that parodied online dating sites, called PlentyofSyph.com. That campaign also features posters of attractive young people and cheeky slogans. "Spread more than just love tonight!" read one. "Be part of something infectious tonight!" read another.

The $2-million spent on that earlier campaign paid off, with rates of syphilis now reportedly declining. But cases of gonorrhea and chlamydia are on the rise, thus the new $1.6-million campaign by Alberta Health.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct Licensing Options
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this resolved by the end of January 2018. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.