Novartis helps IBS get in 'Vogue'

Placement: Vogue, March 2005

Placement: Vogue, March 2005

Who is your client and what are its media goals?
Doug Stroup: Our client is Novartis and its product Zelnorm, which is for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and chronic constipation. It's looking to reach women between 25 and 49, primarily with targeted national outlets, but also through local and regional print and broadcast.

What made a fashion magazine such as Vogue such a great target for Zelnorm, and how did you go about reaching the editors and reporters there?
Stroup: Vogue hits right in the middle of our target demographic, and it reaches them in a bit of a non-traditional place. It's also an outlet a lot of women go to for lifestyle information. We originally pitched them via a deskside briefing with Vogue's senior health editor Abigail Walch, who turned to freelancer Sarah van Boven to write the article.

The original article was slated for April 2005 and was delayed. Why didn't it run then, and what did you do to revive the piece?
Stroup: One of the challenges we had with Zelnorm is IBS is a tough thing to pitch. But we knew the overall quality of this story was great in that it had all the elements: physician, patient, and, ultimately, a journalist's personal experience. So we didn't have re-pitch or revive the piece, and it was a tribute to our team that we kept up the conversations with the freelancer and editor until it got published under the headline "Gut Reactions" this March.

What was the impact of the hit?
Stroup: Read by Vogue's 1.2 million audience, this two-page article complete with mention of Zelnorm was the equivalent of $200,000 in ad space dollars. It also ended up hitting just as Zelnorm's first competition was coming on the market, so the timing couldn't have been better. Needless to say, the client was thrilled.

Name: Doug Stroup, EVP of coporate branding, Ruder Finn

Placement: Vogue, March 2005

Pitch timeline: A year and a half

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