Skydiving GP recruitment ad campaign cost over £100,000

An ad campaign to increase GP recruitment cost over £100,000, official data show.

The series of six thirty-second online videos was launched by Health Education England (HEE) last month with the support of the RCGP and GPC.

The total cost of the campaign, funded entirely by HEE, was £119,015 for the six videos and other publicity work. The cost was paid to ad agency Grayling, which made the videos.

Three of the six ads have been released so far in the run up to the November/December recruitment round.

The first video, which focused on a GP signing a consent form for a cancer patient to skydive, was criticised by some GPs on social media. A second video focused on asthma check-ups and a third on sport.

GP recruitment drive

Information released to GPonline following a freedom of information request revealed that as well as skydiving, the ad agency’s initial pitch also proposed a video starring a ‘contortionist in full pose’, and a ‘baby playing a violin’.

The marketing firm said its ‘nothing general about general practice’ campaign would ‘blow apart’ the perception that GPs had less exciting and high status roles than hospital colleagues.

The campaign will continually surprise the audience with ‘things they wouldn’t have expected would be part of the role of a GP’, the pitch said.

HEE told ad agencies the campaign should increase GP training applications for the 2016/17 intake to 3,250 from 2,613 in 2014.

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