An Allergan public relations campaign is being called "sleazy."
A PR company working for the Irvine-based pharmaceutical giant is apparently offering journalists $250 to attend an Allergan-sponsored media presentation on Botox, Latisse and Juvederm.
HealthNewsReview blogger Gary Schwitzer shares the letter that was sent to freelance reporter Lisa Collier Cool:
I work now with Allergan and we'd like to invite you along with a select small group of reporters to participate in a Facial Aesthetics Advisory Panel in New York City on Thursday, June 9, hosted by Allergan, Inc., the makers of BOTOX® Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxinA), JUVEDERM® dermal fillers, and LATISSE® (bimatoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.03%.
The goal of this Panel is to engage in a discussion about current facial aesthetics trends and innovations, perceived gaps in data, and any questions, concerns or mis-perceptions your readers may have about products and treatments. Allergan will provide an overview of the evolution of the facial aesthetics marketplace and then will open the panel for discussion.
As a seasoned reporter in this space, we would greatly value your feedback, and we'd like to offer you a stipend of $250 for your attendance and insights.
We hope you will consider this opportunity and we will be in touch soon. In the meantime, please let me know if you would like more information.
Via Twitter, Schwitzer asked his journalist-readers if the offer was the sleaziest anyone had heard of. "Not even close," one journalist wrote.
The revelation came a week after an editor in Virginia forwarded this letter to James Romenesko's media news blog:
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Dear Editor or Health Editor:
Would you consider running our press release as a win-win project? We will pay $100 for every Skin Care Patient who sees the press release in your newspaper and commits to our exclusive and effective process. We monitor each incoming patient and where they heard about us.
Given the back-to-back bribery, Schwitzer noted, "We're at $250. Do I hear a bid for $500?....."
Dear Allergan and Other Pharmaceutical Companies:
It is apparent you are getting nowhere with mainstream journalists. Hello!?! This is why God invented the alternative press. Not only is it easier to buy us off, we're cheaper, too.
Hell, you don't even have to make it money. Pills that can easily be sold on the black market will do just fine. Come on: Daddy needs a new pair of shoes!
Seriously, I'm walking in Kleenex boxes here.Hugs, kisses and chlamydia,