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Yes, they do know it's Christmas, but it's Ebola they're worried about

Would you like to smell like Zinedine Zidane? A few years ago, a French perfume maker thought many of us would, and paid the football star to sell its manly mixture.

Apparently many of us wouldn’t, and the ads soon disappeared. If you get the right person sending the right message though, stars can be very useful. On Monday, I moderated a panel discussion here at the OECD on “communicating in a crisis”, and one of the panellists described a successful campaign in Côte d’Ivoire using another football hero, Didier Drogba, to convince people to wash their hands and take other elementary precautions to stop the Ebola virus spreading. This worked because Drogba is a local boy and clearly knows and cares about the cause he was promoting. When he was criticised by some media for not going to the national squad’s match, he said he thought fighting Ebola was more important than a football game.

Côte d’Ivoire doesn’t have any Ebola cases, but... READ MORE AT OECDINSIGHTS.ORG

Originally published on OECD Insights on 26 November 2014.

Useful links

Ebola watch

Eradicating Ebola is a political challenge too

Engaging with the Public: Twelve Lessons from DAC Peer Reviews

Venture philanthropy in development from netFWD, the OECD-hosted Global Network of Foundations Working for Development.

Information on Ebola from SWAC, the OECD Sahel and West Africa Club

The first clinical tests on an Ebola treatment will be starting in Médecins sans frontières (Doctors without bordes) projects in December. MSF can pay for two beds in their treatment centres for 150 euros.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Ebola response