Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels Creates 'Quit Smoking With Barca'

Barcelona - Smokers across Europe will now be able to ‘Quit Smoking with Barça' as a unique public health programme goes live.

The campaign, created by Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels is a joint initiative between the European Commission and FC Barcelona which uses a unique, science-based approach to help those who love life, Barça and football to quit smoking for good.

‘Quit Smoking with Barça' (quitsmokingwithbarca.eu) marks the latest innovation of the European Commission's successful ‘Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable' campaign that has run across the 27 EU countries for the past two years, driven by the Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels Consortium (comprising Tonic Life Communications, Zenith Optimedia, ESN, BrandNewDay and GFK). The campaign is powered by the ‘FCB iCoach', a free, dedicated online resource and mobile app that provides tailored guidance and support straight from the mouths of Barça players, coaches and staff.

When a smoker registers, he or she completes a short questionnaire that determines the type of coaching needed to quit. Based on the answers, the individual receives personalised tips, information and motivation directly from Barça players, coaches and staff. The club's four captains: Carles Puyol, Andres Iniesta, Victor Valdes and Xavi are among those offering advice as are President Sandro Rosell, coach Tito Villanova, Guilermo Amor, and other club experts.

Building on the success of ‘Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable' (exsmokers.eu) and harnessing the support of Barça's millions of fans, this unprecedented partnership between a sporting institution and the European Commission can help many more of Europe's 140 million smokers to kick the habit forever.

FC Barcelona President Rosell called on football fans across Europe to get involved: "At Barça we have the best fans in the world and we want to take care of them. Our motto ‘Més que un club' means we're committed to a philosophy that should be evident in all we do. We always act with a social consciousness and another way for us to do this is to stand side by side with the European Commission as we launch ‘Quit Smoking with Barça'.

"Making our facilities and our stadium smoke-free was an important milestone and the next one is the launch of the FCB iCoach. When you sign up to the FCB iCoach, the whole club will support you every step of the way giving you the expert knowledge of people within the club to help you in your fight to quit cigarettes for good. We want all smokers to consider quitting. If you can commit to trying we can commit to standing by your side every step of the way on your journey to a smoke-free life. There has never been a better time to quit than now."

"FC Barcelona is able to get the best out of their players," says Jan Teulingkx, Executive Creative Director Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels. "Why wouldn't they be able to do the same for their fans?  So we turned the fan-club relationship upside down. When you enter FCB iCoach, you become the athlete and the club is there to support you, to reach your best shape. In other words, ‘The whole club supports you'."

Robert Senior, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon Group EMEA and Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi's Worldwide Creative Board said: "I am delighted we have been given the opportunity to extend the reach of this already successful campaign for the European Commission by uniting with a force as powerful and irresistible as FC Barcelona. We already have nearly 300,000 Europeans signed up to quit smoking as a result of the campaign, and I am sure that with the support of one of the most loved teams in the world, we can create hundreds of thousands more unstoppable ex-smokers."

To mark the launch of the campaign, a team of 11 Barça fans from different EU countries have been chosen to become the first people from their nation to sign-up to the FCB iCoach. The 11 ‘Quit Smoking with Barça' Fans were guests of honour at Saturday's Barça v Bilbao game where they carried a campaign flag onto the pitch while the launch video was played in the stadium to encourage smokers within the Nou Camp to join the campaign.

To find out more about ‘Quit Smoking with Barça' and the FCB iCoach visit www.quitsmokingwithbarca.eu


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