Aventis US comms team gears up for Moore film

BRIDGEWATER, NEW JERSEY: At least one drugs giant – Aventis – is bidding to seal cracks in its comms before it can be exploited by film maker Michael Moore in his next film, provisionally titled Sicko and scheduled for release next year, which will focus on the healthcare industry.

Aventis has sent out an internal email and voicemail messages to US-based field associates warning them to be on the lookout for Moore.

The text of the voicemail – which was also reproduced in the email – reads, in part: ‘We have learned through PhRMA, our industry trade association, that Michael Moore has begun work on his next documentary, which will focus on the pharmaceutical industry and managed care… Reports from various pharma companies indicate that their field personnel have been approached by Moore for comment.’

The message instructs Aventis associates to direct ‘Moore or anyone associated with his film’ to the Bridgewater corporate comms unit.

The email, obtained by PRWeek US, states that it was sent on behalf of Aventis North American V-P of comms and corporate relations Chip Rouse and says it is aiming to help ‘associates avoid a potentially difficult situation’.

Rouse would not return calls. Aventis senior manager in US comms Christine Kirby, when asked about the email, said: ‘We routinely provide our field force with heads-up info’.

PhRMA comms manager Court Rosen declined to elaborate on what the association has heard about Moore’s actions, but said: ‘What we really need is a serious debate on healthcare based on facts, not just another one-sided mockumentary.’

Mark Benoit, Moore’s spokesperson, would neither confirm nor deny that Moore has begun work on the film.

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