Marie Stopes International

How ONE HUNDRED helped Marie Stopes International expand access to reproductive health services by assembling a team of experts in strategic communications, multi-channel campaigns, and health care.


Thousands of women around the world die each year after seeking prenatal and reproductive care from unlicensed medical practitioners—a challenge further complicated in places where discussions about sexuality are taboo. Safe and effective services, however, are available through reproductive healthcare organizations. Marie Stopes International (MSI) is one such organization, and is among the largest of its kind.

MSI wanted to launch a multi-faceted campaign to drive awareness of their clinical services in developing countries (and in a nuanced, culturally sensitive way). ONE HUNDRED agencies Porter Novelli, Rabin Martin, TBWA\Markcom Ghana, and Apex Porter Novelli in Kenya provided the right combination of expertise to meet the challenge.

Through a robust review of published literature and interviews with both MSI clinical staff and local health providers, the ONE HUNDRED team identified key triggers that provoke women and their partners to seek care, as well as the barriers and motivators they face. Our work also helped us establish a communication and channel strategy, including ways we could spark conversations related sex and sexual health despite cultural stigmas.

Our campaign spanned print, radio, digital, and even training for MSI staff—a way to activate MSI’s large network of franchise salespeople. We partnered with local celebrity ambassadors and influencers who could challenge local taboos and encourage health-seeking behaviors in authentic ways. We also used social platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp to target our messaging to women at the right place and time. And to build trusted one-to-one relationships, we included the MSI call centre number on giveaways (e.g., pregnancy kits) so that women know confidential advice is only a phone call away.

While results are forthcoming, local MSI clinic engagement has been high. Foot traffic and volume to MSI call centers will inform a global communications strategy with modular elements that can be adapted to the needs of local women and their partners.