The Australian Dental Association Inc is a national association of dentists committed to promoting the art, science and ethical practice of dentistry, improving the oral health of the community and enhancing the professional lives of its members.
When the Dental Board of Australia was due to release an interim policy on the regulation of the sale of higher concentrations of peroxide in relation to teeth whitening procedures, they decided to take a stronger lobbying stance than its national parent body and as a result required PR support to help generate media coverage of its key campaign messages.
Hughes PR worked with ADASA, beginning with a targeted media approach to Channel 10 which led to a broader local public media launch to support ADA Incorporated’s national teeth whitening campaign and the release of the final policy by the Dental Board.
Key objectives of the campaign were to:
- Call on the government to regulate the sale of higher concentrations of peroxide.
- Call for tougher controls on ‘whitening shops’ in local retail strips and shopping malls.
- Raise public awareness of some of the possible risks and side effects of teeth whitening if conducted by non-dental professionals.
- Raise awareness on the potential penalty for people without dental qualifications performing irreversible procedures on teeth.
- Highlight the difference between the controls in place in Australia compared with the stricter controls in the UK and New Zealand.
Key activity included:
- Instigating a media call to Channel 10 Adelaide to draw their attention to the policy and to ADASA’s call for stricter regulations and their campaign for greater public awareness,
- Coordinating a media launch in the Adelaide CBD shopping precinct Rundle Mall that . was attended by Dr Angela Pierce, ADASA President, and Adelaide resident Felecia Williams, a client of a beautician whose teeth whitening treatment had left her with painful long-term damage.
- Preparing a news alert and news release for the media launch, which was based upon the national campaign releases but tailored to South Australia.
- Arranging media access to ADASA member Dr Angelo Papageorgiou’s practice on Wakefield Street so the media could film a whitening treatment being conducted by a qualified dentist.
Secured attendance at the launch from Channel 7, Channel 9, Channel 10, The Advertiser and AAP. Telephone interviews were arranged with Mix 102.3 Radio 5AA and key messages from the launch were featured across a range of media locally and interstate.
The media coverage reached a cumulative audience of over 1.6 million and achieved an advertising value equivalent of $83,790.
The campaign provided a good platform for the ADASA to put teeth whitening on the public health agenda and to continue its push for greater controls on teeth whitening treatments in Australia.
Hughes PR targeted SA media only but the story was syndicated nationally.