CVS’ #OneGoodReason social media campaign drew support from organizations such as the Department of Health and Human Services and the American Heart Association, as well as public figures such as first lady Michelle Obama, in the hours after its launch on Wednesday.
The pharmacy chain, the nation’s second largest after Walgreens, launched the campaign as it pulled all tobacco products from its shelves on Wednesday morning. It also rebranded its corporate entity as CVS Health to emphasize its mission, though its stores will continue to be known as CVS/Pharmacy.
The pharmacy chain stopped selling tobacco products one month ahead of the self-imposed October 1 deadline it set when it announced the initiative to widespread praise in February.
Also among the bold-faced names supporting the cause on Wednesday was White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, who tweeted his approval.
Today we removed all tobacco from our stores for #onegoodreason: YOU! Stand with us & share why you live tobacco free.— CVS Health (@CVSHealth) September 3, 2014
CVS’ tactics for promoting its first day as a smoke-free chain included distributing a multimedia press release that included video remarks from president and CEO Larry Merlo. He said the company will "touch more than 100,000 people by playing an active, supportive role in each person’s unique health experience and in the greater healthcare environment."
The company also redesigned its corporate homepage to include videotaped remarks from other executives, a detailed smoking-cessation program called "Let’s Quit Together," and research on the consumer-health benefits when businesses stop selling tobacco.
The site’s #OneGoodReason page also encourages consumers to tweet the primary reason they’re quitting smoking, or post it to Facebook or Instagram. The portal also includes ads created for the rebranding.
Edelman global CEO Richard Edelman, whose eponymous firm works with the pharmacy retailer supporting its corporate PR since September 2012, praised his client’s decision to change its name and halt tobacco sales at 7,700 stores.
"To celebrate people’s reasons to live tobacco-free, the company launched a social campaign – #OneGoodReason – to raise awareness of the benefits of quitting smoking and invite everyone to share their personal stories of how smoking and tobacco use has affected their lives," Edelman wrote.
The #OneGoodReason hashtag had been used more than 9,500 times as of 3 pm EST, according to statistics from Topsy, peaking when @WhiteHouse retweeted @CVS_Extra’s announcement.
Representatives from Edelman and CVS were not immediately available for comment on the matter.