A first-of-its-kind advert aimed at promoting sexual wellness and intimacy support services has launched across the nation.
The advertisement promoting the Rossendale-based sexual wellness platform, findmysexpert, will run on the back of a haulage vehicle that will travel across the UK for three months.
Divorce enquiries skyrocketed during the COVID crisis, with lockdowns causing fractures in relationships to widen.
Some couples therapy providers saw demand for services double as already strained relationships were siloed amongst the need to juggle child care, homeschooling and the daily rigmaroles of home life - with little respite.
A growing issue amongst couples has been the lack of intimacy, with some surveys suggesting that less than half of couples discuss sex and intimacy on a regular basis, with the numbers decreasing amongst older couples.
findmysexpert is an online platform that connects sexual wellness practitioners with couples and individuals looking to improve, restore and reinvigorate their sex lives.
The platform features certified practitioners from all disciplines of the sex support industry, their events, courses and blogs for a refreshed sex education in the 21st Century.
As well as providing a service, the platform aims to highlight the importance of talking about sexuality in relationships, including all the preferences, issues and nuances that make up intimacy.
Founder of the platform, and Rossendale resident, Francine Sharrocks, said the taboo of discussing intimacy needed to be broken once and for all.
She said: "Although talking about intimacy in relationships is gradually becoming more common, it’s still seen as a difficult topic for many.
"The very fact that an ad such as ours on the back of a lorry is a bit of a first testifies to the wider unease of discussing one of the fundamental aspects of relationships.
"Of course, sex and intimacy isn’t the be-all and end-all, but it is what truly sets a romantic relationship apart from others such as family and friends.
"When issues start to emerge, if the communication isn’t there then they can cause a silent divide between couples, eventually leading to sometimes irreconcilable differences.
"That’s why we want to raise awareness of the issue and the importance of seeking professional help when it’s needed."
The ad, which has the opportunity to reach over four million people, came about when Francine was shortlisted for a Great British Entrepreneur Award and, following a public vote, won the competition for a haulage vehicle campaign in partnership with DrivenMedia.
Francesca James, founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards said: "We’re pleased to see the campaign go live and have no doubt that it will spark some important conversations.
"We see so many fantastic individuals and business owners come through our awards and take pride in helping them tell their stories.
"These kinds of collaborations are ever-present in our business community, and it’s through open-minded communication that we see some of the most powerful changes made.
"Francine’s cause clearly resonated with people as she ousted a number of other businesses to take the people’s vote for the ad campaign. The fact that it’s a first for the topic is the icing on the cake."
Ed Hollands, chief executive of DrivenMedia, the company responsible for supplying the haulage ad, said: "We work with hundreds of hauliers and advertisers every year to run wide-reaching campaigns across the roads and highways of the UK.
"This type of ad is the first that we are aware of - with the topic of sexuality very much still a taboo for the industry.
"Obviously, there have been ads that have touched on the topic, or used sexuality in its promotions - but actually advertising services connected to the industry has been forgone - until now."
To learn more about the sexual wellness platform, you can head to findmysexpert.com.