Allergan started yesterday a PR push for their new national public awareness and advocacy campaign called C.H.O.I.C.E. ‑ Choosing Health over Obesity Inspiring Change through Empowerment. The campaign aims to inspire consumers, healthcare professionals and the US Congress to work together to address obesity through prevention and treatment.
Allergan hopes to convince the policy makers that obesity is NOT a choice, but a disease, or, as they called it in their press release, an “epidemic.” Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States, second only to smoking.
“As the leader in the obesity intervention market, Allergan initiated the C.H.O.I.C.E. Campaign to change the pervasive misperceptions about obesity in the United States and redefine what constitutes effective treatment beyond just prevention tools. Our goal is to help those individuals who are currently suffering from the disease and to lower the extraordinary cost of obesity on our healthcare system,” said David E.I. Pyott, CBE, Allergan’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.
Allergan’s PR push comes after many efforts by Michelle Obama to raise awareness and combat obesity, particularly when it comes to the children. According to statistic cited by Allergan, more than 70 million Americans are obese, with approximately 15 million of them being 100 pounds or more overweight.
The campaign can be followed on Facebook and Twitter (@CHOICEcampaign). A special website for the campaign has been launched at mychoicecampaign.com. Allergan also launched a contest that will give winners the possibility (or chance) to win a 3-night/2-day trip to Washington, D.C. where they’ll have the opportunity to speak with members of Congress and the media about their weight-loss journey and be the voice for others.
Apparently, the campaign follows every possible new age PR rule in the book, and it could be successful. However, there is a matter of credibility for Allergan, which is now facing several lawsuits over its Botox antiwrinkle treatment. The Oklahoma County jury ruled in favor of a woman who brought a negligence claim against Allergan, for injuries and damages allegedly resulting from Botox injections. This created a precedent, and, according to sources, other similar cases are set to go to trial in California in September.