MediaCom helps Cancer Research UK-Channel 4 with ‘world first’ live surgery TV ad

Channel 4 partnered with Cancer Research UK to broadcast a 90-second live stream of a colonoscopy procedure that aired on the channel at 3.25pm, Wednesday 18th January.
The advert – a collaboration between Channel 4 Sales, Cancer Research UK, MediaCom, creative agency Anomaly and live stream specialist Sassy Films – was the world’s first TV advert broadcast live from inside the human body.
Viewers were given the unique opportunity to see the removal of bowel polyps from patient Philip McSparron during the ad break for afternoon property programme A New Life in the Sun. Cancer Research UK also streamed the ad simultaneously on Facebook with a cancer nurse available to field questions posted by social media users.
As the live ad needed to take place during routine hospital hours, Channel 4 streamed the event across its social media accounts and rebroadcast a 60-second version at 9.10pm that evening during popular drama No Offence.

Ed Aspel, executive director of fundraising and marketing at Cancer Research UK said: “Broadcasting Philip’s colonoscopy live gave us the opportunity to show one of the many people across the UK benefitting from procedures that wouldn’t be possible without research.”
Aspel continued by thanking Mr McSparron, whose polyps were sent for further analysis after the procedure, for taking part and allowing viewers to “witness a simple procedure that can prevent cancer from developing.” While most polyps don’t develop into cancer, some do, therefore removing them can help prevent bowel cancer developing.
Danny Peace, agency principal from Channel 4 said: “This partnership with Cancer Research UK delivered a truly unique and highly engaging experience for viewers while conveying a very important message […] and built upon 4 Sale’s legacy for industry leading ad break innovations.”
Isabelle Gunner, Senior Planner at MediaCom, said that the agency’s work with Cancer Research UK and Anomaly to show that cancer was happening ‘Right Now’ had been “the focus of [MediaCom’s] brand campaigns for a number of months.”

Gunner mentioned that the advert had been picked up by various news and industry publications and thanked many people for helping to make it happen, with “special shout outs to Connect’s Alice Mitchell, Marketplace’s Lauren Gore, MBA’s Paul Reid, Holly Carter, Amy Hardy and Dan Wood.”
Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
Channel 4 is a publicly-owned, commercially-funded, not-for-profit public service broadcaster with a remit to be innovative, experimental and distinctive. View the ‘Live from the Inside’ advert here

To find out more about the work of Cancer Research UK visit

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