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People Are Freaking Out Over This Sexual Health Advert

A London council has come under fire for an advert that critics claim encourages women to have unprotected sex.

The poster, which can be found in south-west London, reads: "You spent the night in Clapham but you left your pill in Kingston. It might be time to consider the coil."

It's part of Kingston Council's "get it, forget it" campaign, which aims to promote the contraceptive coil to women. Also known as an intrauterine device (IUD), the coil is inserted into the womb and stops the sperm and egg from surviving, but it doesn't protect against STIs.

Critics have said that the campaign encourages women to sleep around, without warning of the risks of STIs, and is a dangerous message to send to young women, the Evening Standard reported.

“I am very broad-minded but I just find this campaign disgusting," said Mary Clark, an independent councillor in the area. "The posters have no place in the middle of New Malden High Street. The message is completely confused.”

Others have suggested that the council shouldn't be trying to sway women's contraceptive choices.
Meanwhile, some have defended the poster for its attempt to open women's minds to the different methods of contraception available.

Responding to the criticism, a spokesman for the council said: “Kingston has made excellent progress in reducing teenage pregnancy rates and has the second lowest abortion rate in London."

He said more than 700 women have been fitted with coils in the borough's GP practices in the last year.

“Kingston Council’s coil campaign is designed to build on this success with a thought-provoking message. This is a responsible public health campaign.”

Like the infamous Talk to Frank drug adverts, the "get it, forget it" campaign appears to take a refreshingly relatable approach to public health education (at least from what we've seen so far.)

Unless we openly acknowledge problems like forgotten contraception – which, let's face it, is a common one – we'll never solve them.