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Population Services International, the US-based NGO's War on AIDS: Making the Marketing Mix, the Myanmar Way



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Code : SEP0013

Year :
2006

Industry : General Business

Region : Myanmar

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment : Available

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Introduction: “In military-ruled Myanmar, condoms were virtually invisible and rarely used just a decade ago. But Population Services International (PSI), a US-based NGO, has managed to break through the social resistance to using, and talking about, condoms, thanks to a clever and culturally specific marketing campaign, starring a sun-hat wearing chameleon.”

“Apart from the fact that PSI’s condoms are subsidised by western aid money, the organisation operates like any other fast-moving consumer goods company. Over the last decade, clever, culturally sensitive marketing has helped it build its brand and generate public acceptance of a potentially life-saving product.”

“TheAIDS virus thrives on ignorance and powerlessness. Peoplewho don’t know how to protect themselves... or don’t have the means to do so... often fall victim to HIV. What’s true for individuals is also true for nations. And one nation in SoutheastAsia provides a lesson in howsilence and oppression can spreadAIDS. That nation isMyanmar – formerly called Burma.Military dictators have ruledMyanmar for more than forty years. Dissidents are jailed, news is heavily censored, and nowHIVis racing through the population.”


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