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Saturday, 8 October 2011

PROZAC - Scientology Attack on Prozac & the use of professional PR

Scientology Attack

The Scientology attack on Prozac, apart from the studied encouragement of a host of lawsuits asking hundreds of millions in damages against Eli Lilly, has included a massive advertising and public relations campaign involving church leaders doing the talk-show circuit and a fee-based public relations wire service providing information on the issue.

The campaign escalated to unprecedented levels in the wake of the May Time magazine cover story, highly critical of Scientology, with a series of full-page ads - and two full-color booklet inserts - in USA Today promoting Scientology and its founder L. Ron Hubbard and decrying Time and Lilly. The overall campaign, which cost $2 million, seems to have caused Lilly's sales to drop significantly in the U.S.

Remarking on Scientology's use of the media, a Lilly vice president said, "Other groups have known how to market a message. The difference here is that the Scientologists have bottomless pockets and absolutely no regard for facts or the scientific method." Scientology president Heber Jentzsch, for his part, says that the church "couldn't trust the media to get it right" about Scientology's opposition to "the killer drug" so the group used "advocacy advertising" to make its point.

In so doing, Scientology has taken advertising to a level some find disturbing. "It's a new genre, but it's being used increasingly," said Rance Crain, editor-in-chief of Advertising Age. Advertising is being used in ways it was never intended to be used. There is a real danger here that it is going to weaken the efficacy and believability of all advertising. It concerns a lot of us." (From "Scientologist campaign shakes drug firm, advertising industry," by Michael Tackett, Chicago Tribune, 8/15/91, 17, 20.)

source - Michael Tackett, Chicago Tribune, 8/15/91

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