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Overcoming embarrassment

Case study: Fishawack helps destigmatise ED on behalf of Bayer Healthcare with the launch of Levitra® ODT

Published: 10 Nov 2011

Overcoming embarassment

The surprise reveal of the innovative packaging and the relaxed TV-style talkshow captivated the audience.

Client: Bayer HealthCare

Agency: Fishawack Communications

Campaign: 'Levitra® ODT: reinventing ED treatment'

Timescale: May 2010 to March 2011

A quick look

'Levitra® ODT: reinventing ED treatment' was an exciting talkshow held to increase understanding of the reasons why men fail to seek treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) and to educate men's health specialists about Bayer HealthCare's new orodispersible ED therapy, which plays a unique role in destigmatising this distressing condition and encouraging more men to talk to their doctor. Print and online media coverage of the event comprised 66 articles, across 16 countries, and over 15,000 urologists were reached by the meeting highlights report.


Although erectile dysfunction (ED) affects over 150 million men worldwide, it is considered a taboo subject, and rates of treatment seeking and continuation with therapy remain low. ED is often an early sign of serious underlying conditions, such as coronary heart disease, so it's vital that men with ED are encouraged to ask for help and overcome the embarrassment of discussing their sexual problems with a doctor.

Bayer HealthCare has developed Levitra® ODT, a new orodispersible ED therapy that is more convenient and discreet to take than traditional drug formulations. It also comes in an innovative package that is specially designed to make men feel less like they are taking medication and can be used as a counselling tool to spark discussion between doctor and patient.

Fishawack Communications was asked to organise an inspiring launch event to educate doctors about Levitra ODT, and raise awareness of how this new therapy will help to destigmatise ED, reduce embarrassment, and encourage open dialogue about sexual problems.


'Levitra ODT: reinventing ED treatment' took place at the Men's Health World Congress in Nice, France, in October 2010. The event opened with a series of short presentations by a global faculty of urologists, sexual health specialists and a psychologist. These incorporated numerous creative elements, such as animations and patient interview video clips, and a surprise reveal of the innovative packaging, using demo packs previously hidden under each delegate's seat. A 45-minute TV-style talkshow, complete with a charismatic host and roving microphones, provided an educational forum to encourage delegates from different nationalities, cultures and specialities to share experiences and gain expert opinion and guidance.

In addition to extensive media coverage of the event, accompanying materials included a highlights newsletter, published in European Urology Today, and an educational DVD containing footage from the symposium targeted at urologists and GPs.


  • 66 pieces of media coverage circulated in 16 countries
  • Meeting highlights report in European Urology Today circulated to over 15,000 urologists
  • Audience quotes: "(Levitra ODT) will, for sure, increase the awareness of the public, the medicine societies and the media", "Patients who are ashamed will come to the office", "(Levitra) ODT offers another opportunity for us to get closer to our patients"
  • In Q1 of 2011, >500 DVD discs were distributed to doctors globally to accompany local product launches.

Client verdict

"Your tremendous work has helped us achieve what we wanted – excite physicians about Levitra ODT, both by content and style of presentation. The feedback that we received afterwards was fantastic!"

Marita Ueckert, Levitra Product Manager, Bayer HealthCare AG

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AMICULUM® is an independent global healthcare communications, consulting and learning business with a global team of >300 healthcare communications professionals,...