Safe sex proves very expensive

A government safer sex campaign aimed at teenagers has been branded a "gimmicky" waste of taxpayers' money.

"Want respect? Use a condom" campaign included a specially-made drama series, called "Thmbnls" which cost £250,000.

But only 5,576 mobile phone users signed up for the videos, which meant it cost £45 per subscriber when set against the cost of the film.

The government said the campaign was a success and the number of subscribers had exceeded its own targets.

The campaign targeted young people using mobile phones and social networking websites.

Official figures, obtained using a Freedom of Information request, show 5,576 people had signed up for the service in the four months since it launched.

Safe sex campaign 'wasted money' (BBC website, 29 May 2009)