Rubber Rocks Staying Alive Unveils Furry Ads to Promote Safe Sex

MTV’s HIV and AIDS campaign Staying Alive today revealed that Lapeno, Fat Ed and Mervin are the latest in a long line of celebrities to be associated with its work to mark the campaign’s tenth anniversary. A series of specially-created shorts have been commissioned by Staying Alive and Spinvox from the creators of Fur TV — Chris Waitt and Henry Trotter — and will premiere during the live broadcast of the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards. The Awards is broadcast on Thursday 6th November 2008 from the Liverpool Echo Arena, Liverpool — European Capital of Culture — and sponsored by edc by Esprit, Sony Ericsson and Dell.

In its tenth year Staying Alive is launching a new campaign in association with Spinvox, Telling It Like It Is (www.tellingitlikeitis.tv) to continue to openly and frankly discuss sex and safe sex issues with young people.

“It is only by encouraging young people to talk more openly about sex that we can start breaking down the stigma and barriers that are all too associated with the subject,” said Georgia Arnold, Senior Vice President, Social Responsibility, MTV Networks International and Executive Director, Staying Alive Foundation. “An open mind leads to open discussions which ultimately help promote safe sex and lowers the risk of HIV and AIDS. We strongly believe that humour is one of the best ways to do this and the Fur TV spots are hilarious and totally spot on.”

Fur TV premiered on MTV ONE in the UK in April 2008 and the series has subsequently aired on MTV in France and Germany. The five shorts focus on specific safe sex messages that relate directly to the concerns that many young people have when it comes to using condoms — What is unsafe sex?; Is buying a condom embarrassing?; Why do I need a condom?; Do condoms reduce sensitivity? In the not-for-the-faint-hearted and edgy style that Fur TV is synonymous with, Lapeno, Fat Ed and Mervin tackle these sensitive issues, ending vignette with the strapline “Rubber rocks. Wear a condom.”

The creators of Fur TV, Chris Waitt and Henry Trotter added: “We have always had a strong belief in safe sex, and that applies especially to sex between humans and puppets.”

While four of the shorts will premiere during the live broadcast of the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards, a fifth short has been created specifically for a web premiere.

As well as the Fur TV spots Staying Alive will be on the red carpet at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Travis McCoy from Gym Class Heroes will be asking celebrities a series of questions around safe sex that will be broadcast around World AIDS Day (Monday 1st December 2008) which also marks Staying Alive’s 10th anniversary.

Additionally Staying Alive will be hosting a celebrity fundraising dinner in partnership with the M.A.C AIDS Fund in Liverpool. The dinner will kick off with a donation from the M.A.C AIDS Fund to MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation for 20,000 pounds. The evening will raise further funds to ensure that The Staying Alive Foundation can continue to support young people around the world in their pioneering work in promoting HIV & AIDS awareness within their communities. On the evening of the event celebrity guests will be invited to autograph the bonnet of a Drophead Coupe Rolls-Royce which will be transformed into the world’s only Rolls-Royce table. The table will then be sold with all the money raised going to The Staying Alive Foundation.

“Television can be a force for good, a platform to educate, empower and inform its audience and Staying Alive has been relentless in its commitment to doing just that,” said Bill Roedy, Chairman and CEO, MTV Networks International. “We are very proud of the amazing work Staying Alive has done over the past decade in raising awareness, changing attitudes and reducing stigma. By encouraging young people to speak freely we are empowering them to take control of and responsibility for their sexual behaviour. We look forward to supporting Staying Alive for the next decade and beyond.”

Launched in 1998, Staying Alive (www.staying-alive.org) is a multi-platform global HIV & AIDS prevention campaign that challenges stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS as well as empowers young people to protect themselves from infection. In the past decade The Staying Alive Campaign has raised awareness to millions of young people around the globe and The Staying Alive Foundation (launched in 2005) has given out hundreds of grants internationally to support innovative projects for both individuals as well as schools, youth centres and clubs to reach at-risk young people, to protect and educate them about the multiple threats posed by HIV and AIDS.

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