Alfred Health.

Melbourne Sexual Health Centre (part of Alfred Health) recently established the Victorian Sexual Health Network to provide greater access to routine testing and treatment for STIs. Spicy Web was engaged by Alfred Health to drive awareness and appointments for this expanding network.


  • Health & Medical


  • PPC Advertising
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↑ 117%

Increase in new user traffic

↑ 1397%

Increase in consultation
appointment enquiries

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Project Background

Alfred Health’s Melbourne Sexual Health Centre (MSHC) set up an innovative state-wide model: the Victorian Sexual Health Network (VSHN), to improve access to routine testing and treatment of STIs across Victoria.

The core project team consisting of senior specialists from MSHC identified and educated staff at six (6) GP partner clinics in geographical areas of need to provide comprehensive STI testing and treatment through the primary care model.

To support MSHC in the advancement of the model, Spicy Web was engaged to deliver the following key objectives:

  • To help raise much needed awareness for the expanded network who were now providing Sexually Transmissible Infection (STI) testing and treatment state-wide

  • To drive clinic appointments directly to the additional GP partner clinics, alleviating the focus on MSHC

  • To promote access to information around STIs for the community to stay STI free

  • To support MSHC realise their goal to grow the VSHN to provide sexual health services to other regions across Victoria.

Key Challenges:

With the incidents of STI increasing in Australia, MSHC recognised the pressing need to provide essential sexual health information to help the community stay STI free.

The phrase ‘Sexually Transmissible Infections or STI’ was coined to aid in reducing the stigma around the term Sexually Transmissible Diseases or STD’s. In campaign planning phase, it was considered that many people may still refer to Sexually Transmissible Infections STI’s as Sexually Transmissible Diseases STD’s - a term that is no longer used in the medical fraternity.

Avoidance due to fear of judgment and a lack of understanding around STI health are contributing factors to the growth in STI incidents with young Australians (15 to 30 years). Unfortunately, young Australians are more likely to avoid sexual healthcare from their GPs because of fear or history of judgement (Australian Journal of General Practice, 2009). We needed to encourage consultations via a discreet and supportive pathway.

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    Our Strategy

    One of the objectives for the campaign was to raise community awareness for the expanded Victorian Sexual Health Network and encourage consultation appointments at the six partner sexual health service clinics.

    Equally important, was the need to raise awareness and provide information for STIs and sexual health to help curb the growing incidence of STI in our community.

    To support MSHC in achieving this outcome, Spicy Web developed an Ad Campaign structure that would provide a deeper understanding around audience behaviors.

    Community Benefit Analysis

    In the campaign planning phase, it was considered that many people may still refer to STIs as Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). For this reason we A/B tested with ad groups targeting each term - A Test: STI and B Test: STD. The findings from the campaign provided helpful insights to MSHC and the need to differentiate and educate the public around the new terminology.

    Language Awareness

    Whilst the phrase STI is commonly used in the medical environment, the campaign demonstrated to MSHC the need for greater education for young people around the term STI.

    Two additional Ad Groups were created with the focus to provide information and awareness. Spicy Web cleverly used keyword insertion to serve STI specific conditions and symptoms in the Ad Headlines, tailoring the Ad Copy specifically for the user’s search terms.

    This allowed Spicy Web to provide MSHC with insightful user behaviour data about symptom and condition queries.

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    The goals we set for the campaign were achieved - increasing community awareness about STI's and directing more traffic to our sexual health partner clinics.
    Lisa Kennedy — Melbourne Sexual Health Centre

    The Good News

    The Stay STI Free campaign demonstrated a pressing need for education, sexual self-care, and STI awareness, which has allowed MSHC to gain support to extend the campaign.

    The results provided direct and tangible outcomes, and have supported the expansion of sexual health partner clinics throughout Victorian communities. MSHC now have six GP partners across the State, with plans to grow the Victorian Sexual Health Network further.