Using Marketing to Fight Childhood Obesity

If you’re a parent, you know the effectiveness of misdirection, manufactured enthusiasm, and strategic re-labeling. Shouldn’t this be a component of every daycare curriculum and school lunch program? Matt Sloane on CNN:

By changing the carrots to X-ray vision carrots, a whopping 66% were eaten,” according to the text of the report, “far greater than the 32% eaten when labeled ‘food of the day,’ and 35% eaten when unnamed.” 

Curious? http://www.wdtn.com/dpps/health/pediatrics/want-kids-to-eat-veggies-try-a-good-marketing-plan_4666558#.UGtFr2gm_FI

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Spell Check Feature Bites Marcom Manager On Butt

It’s not healthcare related, but this sign provides a great lesson for communications professionals in every industry. Don Dimoff will live with this mistake for a long time. Cameron Smith in Yahoo Sports:

Clearly, Red Lion officials were advocating that they were a purveyor of public education, not “pubic education.” That was confirmed by Don Dimoff, the marketing and communications manager for the Red Lion School District in a conversation with Prep Rally on Thursday.”

Curious? http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/highschool-prep-rally/school-official-explains-embarrassing-typo-public-school-sports-165116379.html

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Pharma PR Wizard Turns to Beer

Ray Daniels, former Chicago-based PR man, gave up his career supporting health-care companies to pursue his love for beer. And I mean this in the best possible way. He’s now a recognized expert in testing beer quality and the certification of beer sommeliers. He’s living my dream. Ben Paynter in Bloomberg BusinessWeek:

As a product manager at Abbott Laboratories (ABT), a developer of drugs and medical devices, Ray Daniels translated lab-speak into sales pitches aimed at blood banks and hospitals. Then, in 1990, he launched his own Chicago-basedImage public-relations firm for health-care companies, a move that freed him up for something he was infinitely more passionate about: home brewing.”

Curious? http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-08-23/ray-danielss-beer-prescription

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Did Glaxo Pay Dr. Drew for Wellbutrin Promos?

In 1999, Dr. Drew Pinsky hailed Glaxo’s Wellbutrin anti-depressant on his radio show. He told listeners Wellbutrin didn’t suppress sexual arousal as competitors’ products did. He even intimated it “may enhance…sexual arousal.” Thing is, Glaxo had recently paid him $275,000 for “services for Wellbutrin.” Uh-oh. Jeanne Whalen in the WSJ:

The payments, made by a communications firm working for Glaxo, are revealed in an attachment to a complaint the U.S. government filed in October 2011 in federal court in the District of Massachusetts. The documents were disclosed this week as the U.S. Justice Department announced a $3 billion criminal and civil settlement with Glaxo over illegal drug marketing and other matters.”

Curious? http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303933404577505032006855076.html?KEYWORDS=dr+drew

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Can Cranberry Juice Be Marketed as ‘Healthy?’

We all know it as a home remedy for urinary tract infections and growers tell us it promotes circulation, etc., but cranberry juice is (usually) loaded with sugar. The sugar cuts the natural tartness of straight cranberries. Many states are now considering added taxes on beverages with added sugar — will this make it harder for us to persuade the general public to consume “5-a-Day” ? Susan Berfield in Bloomberg BusinessWeek:

“Yet some experts question the health benefits of cranberry juice. “All juices have antioxidants and vitamins. The research shows none do anything special,” notes Marion Nestle, a professor of public health at New York University. “This is about marketing, not health.”

Curious? http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-06-25/the-cranberry-gets-a-caucus-in-congress

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Grammar Mistakes Effect Your Professional Reputation

Yes, the headline contains a grammar goof. Effect vs. affect, and so on. That’s the point of this WSJ article.   Office mates say/write the darnedest things. Communication pros, too. 

“Mr. Garner, the usage expert, requires all job applicants at his nine-employee firm—including people who just want to pack boxes—to pass spelling and grammar tests before he will hire them. And he requires employees to have at least two other people copy-edit and make corrections to every important email and letter that goes out.

“Twenty-five years ago it was impossible to put your hands on something that hadn’t been professionally copy-edited,” Mr. Garner says. “Today, it is actually hard to put your hands on something that has been professionally copy-edited.”

Curious? http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303410404577466662919275448.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

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On the Marketing of Referrals

When patients get roughly 70% of their specialist referrals from PCPs, the folks who make the introductions can become marketing superstars. Take a look at this mind-numbing piece by Missy Sullivan in SmartMoney:

“In this business, it’s all about pitching one doctor to another — often without one having seen the other in action, or face-to-face. On this morning, McKenzie is promoting two clients: a 20-doctor orthopedic group trying to fend off a nearby competitor and a solo urogynecologist who handles pelvic and bladder issues. But she knows she has only a few minutes to get through her pitch, a spiel that touches on a host of body parts, from arthritic hands and hips (“We’ve got some top surgeons”) to leaky bladders (“Do you get many older patients complaining of incontinence?”). Not an expert on medicine herself, McKenzie has brought along some show-and-tell, including a glossy flier that looks like a yearbook page for the lab-coat set, complete with 20 smiling head shots of doctors posing with diplomas or spinal vertebrae models.”

Curious? http://www.smartmoney.com/plan/health-care/the-surprising-secret-behind-doctor-referrals-1334332558571/

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