Public Release: 

IOF agencies receive global recognition of osteoporosis campaigns

McCann Erickson and Weber Shandwick provide pro bono services to fight 'silent epidemic'

International Osteoporosis Foundation

The advertising and public relations agencies of International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) were recognized by their peers as having produced exceptional campaigns that help people worldwide reduce their risk of breaking their bones due to osteoporosis.

When people get osteoporosis (literally "porous bones") their bones become brittle and break easily. It is one of the most debilitating and common chronic diseases, and affects one out of every three women over 50 (more than get breast cancer) and one out of every five men over 50 (more than prostate cancer).

The awards were given in separate events during 2005 to Torre Lazur McCann/McCann Healthcare, which is IOF's advertising agency, and to Weber Shandwick Worldwide, IOF's public relations agency. Both agencies are members of IOF's Committee of Corporate Advisors and provide extensive pro-bono service to IOF.

Advertising - "Mannequin"

McCann Healthcare, based in Singapore won an Award of Excellence for the New York-based 2005 Rx awards, which recognize global creative achievements in the healthcare field, for the international osteoporosis campaign "Mannequin". Developed and shot in Mumbai by McCann Healthcare India, the Mannequin TV spot urges women to take responsibility for their bone health.

In the 30-second public service announcement, the form of one mannequin, representing the one in three women over 50 who will get osteoporosis, suffers the three most common osteoporosis fractures - wrist, spine and hip. The film encourages people to take the IOF One Minute Osteoporosis Risk Test:

The film was directed by Naren Multani, one of India's leading film makers - he won a One Show Pencil (Silver) in 2002, was a Clio Finalist in 2001.

The campaign also included a Tool Kit for physicians, so that they can better advise the people who come to them as a result of having seen the spot.

Although it was originally developed for Asia, IOF members in other parts of the world have broadcast the film, which has been broadcast in more than 50 countries. The amount of donated and sponsored airtime worldwide has reached some USD one million.

"These campaigns are important public health initiatives and we are pleased to work with IOF and its member societies worldwide to convey the message that people must take responsibility for their own bone health," noted Joe Torre, Torre Lazur McCann chairman.

Richard Nordstrom, chief executive officer of Torre Lazur McCann, added "The recognition of the Rx Club is very gratifying, especially since it comes from our peers. We are delighted to be able to employ our vast creative organization to fight this globally devastating and under-recognized disease."

To see the Mannequin spot:

In addition, McCann Healthcare Singapore won the Singapore Health Promotion Board's open bid to develop a nation-wide osteoporosis education campaign, beating six other agencies. Their year-long campaign, "Strong Bones for a Strong Future", targets young adults (15-30 years) and parents (with children aged 4-16) with the key message that achieving high peak bone mass is important in preventing osteoporosis later in life.

Public relations - "The Independence Thief"

Weber Shandwick's campaign for IOF, "The Independence Thief" was one of only three campaigns short-listed for the Best International Campaign at the 8th annual Communiqué awards held in July 2005 in London.

"The Independence Thief" campaign focused on the theme prevention through exercise and appropriate nutrition, with a secondary focus on the importance of effective diagnosis and treatment reducing the devastating impact of osteoporosis. The program reached nearly nine million people through the press, interviews on CNN and CNBC reached over 50 million households, 70 stakeholders from 20 EU countries attended policy meetings in Brussels and over 1000 people received high-tech osteoporosis screening at an event in Hong Kong.

Fiona Hall, managing director of Weber Shandwick European Healthcare, said "Weber Shandwick has a corporate responsibility to educate people about how they can improve their health, and we are thrilled that our work has been recognized so widely."

Also, the Weber Shandwick osteoporosis team was recognized internally.

The global healthcare team, from multiple Weber Shandwick offices on three continents, won an internal 'Making a Difference' award for its pro bono efforts on behalf of IOF. The award recognizes the team's work on an extensive IOF global communications campaign leveraged World Osteoporosis Day activities around the world, launched a new advertising campaign in Asia and worked with European stakeholders to highlight the issues of osteoporosis sufferers. The global campaign reached more than 50 million households and significantly increased the number of people requesting preventative screening for osteoporosis.


Osteoporosis, in which the bones become porous and break easily, is one of the world's most common and debilitating diseases. The result: pain, loss of movement, inability to perform daily chores, and in many cases, death. One out of three women over 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, as will one out of five men 1, 2, 3. Unfortunately, screening for people at risk is far from being a standard practice. Osteoporosis can, to a certain extent, be prevented, it can be easily diagnosed and effective treatments are available.

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is the only worldwide organization dedicated to the fight against osteoporosis. It brings together scientists, physicians, patient societies and corporate partners. Working with its 170 member societies in 84 locations, and other healthcare-related organizations around the world, IOF encourages awareness and prevention, early detection and improved treatment of osteoporosis.

1. Melton U, Chrischilles EA, Cooper C et al. How many women have osteoporosis? Journal of Bone Mineral Research, 1992; 7:1005-10
2. Kanis JA et al. Long-term risk of osteoporotic fracture in Malmo. Osteoporosis International, 2000; 11:669-674
3. Melton LJ, et al. Bone density and fracture risk in men. JBMR. 1998; 13:No 12:1915

International Osteoporosis Foundation 2005 Osteoporosis Journalism Awards
These awards recognize outstanding print reporting about osteoporosis. With prizes of USD 17,000, the closing date for award entries is January 31, 2006. For more information please go to IOF website journalism award.

Editors note:
High resolution images of the Mannequin advertisement can be supplied upon request. IOF Chief Executive Officer Daniel Navid is available for interview.

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