Fischer rages at WSJ story

MARINA DEL REY, CA: Execs at Fischer & Partners responded angrily last week to a Wall Street Journal report that the firm and client Aspect Medical Systems engaged in a misleading campaign to push a device that monitors the effects of anesthesia.

MARINA DEL REY, CA: Execs at Fischer & Partners responded angrily last week to a Wall Street Journal report that the firm and client Aspect Medical Systems engaged in a misleading campaign to push a device that monitors the effects of anesthesia.

MARINA DEL REY, CA: Execs at Fischer & Partners responded angrily

last week to a Wall Street Journal report that the firm and client

Aspect Medical Systems engaged in a misleading campaign to push a device

that monitors the effects of anesthesia.



The article claimed that instead of highlighting the device, known as

the BIS monitor, the campaign ’raised public concern about

intraoperative awareness’ - a rare phenomenon in which a patient

prematurely rouses from unconsciousness because of low anesthetic

dosage.



The WSJ also reported that Aspect’s ’unusual and aggressive’ marketing

efforts misled hospitals and patients into thinking that the BIS monitor

could prevent intraoperative awareness.



’We weren’t pitching intraoperative awareness, but the technology (of

the monitor) and what can occur with too little or too much anesthesia,’

said Fischer VP Lorie Fiber. ’The article (implies) that we were only

promoting an intraoperative awareness message, and that’s just not

true.’



While articles in medical publications focused on faster patient

recovery after use of the BIS monitor, consumer publications instead

focused on the issue of intraoperative awareness. Fiber acknowledged

that coverage in Time gave rise to ’a swell of interest’ on the

intraoperative awareness issue, but she maintained that subsequent

pitches to the media did not exploit the success of that angle.



’We were very mindful of not scaring people,’ Fiber said.



Bob Frause, chair of the PRSA’s Board of Ethics & Professional

Standards, said that Fischer’s alleged focus on intraoperative awareness

was not out of the norm. ’Targeting and playing on demographic and

psychographic fears to make people respond to whatever the message is -

that’s done by every PR and advertising guy,’ he said. ’If the company

was giving out erroneous information and it was blatantly not true,

that’s where the ethical dilemma would come in.’



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