Breast Implants: Dow's Manipulation of Public Opinion and the Media
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Breast Implants: Dow's Manipulation of Public Opinion and the Media

The following document was obtained in discovery in breast implant litigation. It contains a detailed proposal by Burson-Marsteller Public Relations of October 14, 1991 outlining Dow's public relations efforts prior to anticipated FDA hearings on the safety of breast implants.

BURSON-MARSTELLER PUBLIC RELATIONS October 14, 1991

PRE-FDA HEARING MEDIA PLAN

Objectives

Secure maximum exposure for key positive messages, primarily:

-- Breast implants are safe

-- Women need and value them

-- Each woman has a right to make her own informed decision

Stimulate general public to contact Congress and the FDA

Establish fair media climate for advisory panel hearing

Lay groundwork for additional stories at time of hearing

Audiences

Women and the general public

Washington opinion leaders

The media itself

Strategies

Use existing doctor and patient spokespersons wherever possible

Work with patient support groups, tying in to their activities

Keep trying to obtain celebrity spokesperson(s) for work with high-profile broadcast media

Utilize Dow Corning events as pertinent

Follow up with cadre of patients who handled fly-in (or encourage ASPRS to do so), to stimulate further activity.

ACTIVITIES

PHASE 1 -- NOW UNTIL END OF OCTOBER

Stories on individual patients and doctors who have sympathetic perspectives

Trained patient spokespersons

See attached appendix on patient spokespersons from San Francisco, Atlanta and Los Angeles, already trained.

Activities now beginning with patient spokespersons from Tampa, Miami and Washington, D.C., already trained. Training being held this week with patients from Houston, Dallas, Baltimore and Chicago.

B-M offering media support to each spokesperson in her local market.

Most successful/assured spokespersons to be offered to national media and as part of editorial board briefings (see)

Trained physician spokespersons

Eleven surgeons already trained during ASPRS convention in Seattle.

B-M/Dow Corning is sending them periodic mailings to stimulate activity.

No word as yet from ASPRS on their actual activity (forms to be sent to ASPRS).

B-M/Dow Corning willing to provide additional training to doctors, either to expand local market reach or to prepare some doctors for national media work.

-- Dow Corning needs input from Dr. Cole regarding key oncologists and other specialists who should be "on call" -- can this be arranged?

-- B-M recommends that ASPRS continue to pepper doctors and patients from "fly-in" with mailings designed to stimulate their letters, speeches, media activity.

Work to set up hearings by Congressional Women's Caucus

B-M to contact office of Rep. Mary Rose Oakar (D-OH) ASAP to try to stimulate this.

Depending on specifics, B-M will follow up to develop media approach, including Washington-based press conference the week of the hearings.

Contact top medial columnists

B-M drafting letter asking columnist to inform readers about danger that FDA may be pressured to ban implants

-- Letter to be sent by trained patient spokesperson(s), depending on where newspaper etc. is located.

-- Selected spokesperson also to send letter to national health writers, such as Jane Brody of NEW YORK TIMES, etc.

Letter also asks columnist for presentation of balanced view of risks/benefits to reassure those with implants, override media hysteria.

-- Send the columnist a copy of the FDA's own background on implants as source material.

Contact top national issues columnists with information on women's rights issue

Letter from selected patient spokesperson to key columnists such as Anna Quindlen, James Kilpatrick.

Additional story ideas

Basic governing idea of most stories: many patients and doctors are very concerned and upset that the FDA is being pressured to ban implants by Cong. Ted Weiss and others.

The first implant patient, Timmy Jean Lindsey of Houston, is still active and a strong advocate of implants' benefits and a woman's right to choose.

-- B-M to pitch Houston papers, wire services, national women's media

Feature: The nation's first woman plastic surgeon, 78-year old Alma Morani of Philadelphia, served Grace Kelly's family. Now retired, she strongly supports the endangered breast implant and a woman's right to choose.

-- B-M to pitch to Philadelphia media, national media.

Feature: Two Chicago plastic surgeons were motivated to help women recover from breast cancer via reconstruction after both their mothers died of breast cancer.

-- B-M to pitch to Chicago newspapers, especially for possible syndication by TRIBUNE.

Feature: The doctor who "wrote the book" on breast reconstruction, Bob Goldwyn of Harvard, is angry over misguided political attempts to ban breast implants.

-- B-M to contact national print media, Boston area newspapers.

News item: Survey work by medical publisher Karen Berger shows that the vast majority of breast cancer patients who have been reconstructed find implants very valuable.

-- K. Berger is considering how this might be used for news value.

-- If she agrees, B-M will pitch story to wire services.

News item: National survey of women being commissioned to determine support for woman's right to make an informed decision.

-- B-M setting up survey, will craft results into wire service story.

Feature: Y-Me, which started out as a low-key support group for breast cancer patients, has become active on Capitol Hill, seeking funding for cancer research and maintenance of a woman's right to choose breast implants.

-- B-M will work with Pam DeLuca, president of Y-Me, to approach Chicago media (e.g., Mary Ann Childers of ABC-TV affiliate) and possibly national media.

B-M to work with My Image after Breast Cancer, local Washington, D.C. breast cancer support group affiliated with Y-Me, to generate all possible media coverage.

-- Pitch Washington women's/health care media on October 19 talk by Dr. Susan B. Love at Bethesda Naval Hospital (talk sponsored by My Image).

-- Investigate My Image's other planned activities, such as their possible protest letter regarding Connie Chung's Emmy nomination.

-- Pitch Rosemary Locke, My Image founder, to "48 Hours" to show "48 hours in the life of an activist breast cancer patient."

Approach ABC-TV's "Nightline" to sell balanced examination of issue, tied to upcoming FDA advisory panel.

-- B-M working to attract Dr. Susan B. Love as spokesperson (well-regarded author, and strong interviewer -- out until October 15).

-- Alternatives: Reps. Mary Rose Oakar or Jolene Unsoeld, and/or a very strong patient spokesperson such as Rosemary Locke (My Image) or Darcy Sixt.

-- High-stakes gambit, but could secure balanced, fair treatment if spokesperson is strong.

Take above spokesperson to electronic "morning shows," i.e., GOOD MORNING AMERICA, TODAY, CBS THIS MORNING.

-- Tie to hearings.

-- Alternative spokesperson: Mrs. Priscilla Mack, Sen. Mack's wife, who was on "GMA" prior to her recent surgery.

Work with Karen Berger, medical publisher, who is contacting Barbara Walters (20/20) and Art Ulene (TODAY).

-- B-M in touch with Ms. Berger; should train her if she secures placement.

-- Again, her recent survey work should be peg

-- Possible tie-in with Dr. John Bostwick, her co-author, and Dr. Bostwick"s patient Hilda Morris.

Editorial board briefings

Put together team of oncologist or other doctor, two patients, Dow Corning spokesperson.

Focus on need (doctor), rights (patients), safety (Dow Corning).

B-M to begin pitching, now, to major national media:

-- NEW YORK TIMES

-- WALL STREET JOURNAL

-- WASHINGTON POST

-- WASHINGTON TIMES

-- LOS ANGELES TIMES

-- CHICAGO TRIBUNE

-- USA TODAY

-- Other major market newspapers, top 10-15 markets.

Seek meeting with key editorialists, Washington reporters, and appropriate women's/health editors and writers, for first week in November (or earlier if necessary).

B-M to provide media training for all participants.

Washington press conference

Hold the week of Congressional Women's Caucus hearings, or (if hearings don't materialize) just as lead-up to FDA advisory panel hearing.

-- Rep. Mary Rose Oakar (D-OH) to try to set up (B-M to contact).

-- Press conference could include Rep. Oakar, Mrs. Priscilla Mack (Sen. Mack's wife; B-M to contact), and/or Rep. Jolene Unsoeld (D-WA) (B-M to contact).

-- B-M checking on possible women's groups who might be interested in participating.

-- Press conference to be held on Capitol Hill.

-- Key message: maintain women's right to choose.

-- Invite all Washington-based media who follow women's issues.

Premature to set plans in light of rapidly changing situation. However, activities may include:

Develop feature stories on each breast cancer patient used as a panel presenter in favor of implants (speakers still to be selected).

Disseminate any prepared remarks to all media who had received editorial board visits the week before, as well as other interested media.

B-M to provide spokesperson training to all participants.

Develop range of scenarios for possible outcome; prepare to pitch "day after" stories based on each scenario.

* * *

APPENDIX A

DOW CORNING WRIGHT

TARGETED MEDIA LIST

MEDIUM CONTACTS

Wire Service

Associated Press Debbie Mesce

United Press International Rebecca Kohlberg

Reuters Irwin Arieff

Gannett News Service Ellen Hale

Knight Ridder Scott Bosley

Copley News Service

Scripps Howard

Cox

Medill

Gillett

National Publications

Wall Street Journal Marilyn Chase

Jerry Bishop

USA Today Kim Painter

Nancy Helmich

New York Times Philip Hilts

Washington Post Sally Squires

Abigail Trafford

Washington Times Joyce Price

Los Angeles Times Marlene Cimons

Robert Steinbrook

Chicago Tribune Nick Horrick

Marjorie David

Time Brian Doyle

Newsweek Mary Hager

U.S. News and World Report Joanne Silberner

Business Week Susan Garland

Fortune Les Smith

Forbes Janet Novak

Newsday Earl Lane

Regional Newspapers

Long Beach Press Telegram Mike Schwartz

Orange County Register Mike Hewitt

Chicago Sun Times Howard Wolinsky

San Francisco Examiner Tom Dowling

Lisa Kreiger

San Francisco Chronicle Charles Petit

Dallas Morning News Rita Rubin

Dallas Times Herald Gary Schultz

Fort Worth Star Telegram Caroline Poirot

Houston Chronicle Ruth Sorelle

The Houston Post D. J. Wilson

Minneapolis Star Tribune Lewis Cope

St. Paul Pioneer Press Tom Majeski

Seattle Post Intelligencer Tom Paulson

Seattle Times Warren King

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Roger Signor

Denver Post Diane Eicher

Rocky Mountain News Kris Newcomer

The Arizona Republic Dave Cannella

Phoenix Gazette David Hoye

Sacramento Bee Ellen Robinson Haynes

San Diego Tribune Susan Duerksen

San Diego Union Rex Dalton

Detroit Free Press Pat Anslett

Detroit News Dwight Angell

New York Daily News James Hairston

New York Newsday Gayle Scott

Philadelphia Daily News Mary Flanner

Philadelphia Inquirer Donald Drake

Boston Globe Judy Foreman

Boston Herald Susan Brink

Cleveland Plain Dealer Cathy Gilfeather

Atlanta Journal Constitution Mike King

Miami Herald Linda Monroe

Ft. Lauderdale News/Sun Sentinel Nancy McVicar

St. Petersburg Times Carol Gentry

Baltimore Sun Jonathon Bore

The Evening Sun Sue Miller

New Haven Register Dave Butler

Hartford Courant Frank SpencerOrlando Sentinel Delthia Ricks

Pittsburgh Post Gazette Henry Pierce

Broadcast

NBC Nightly News Bob Basell

ABC World News Tonight Dr. Timothy Johnson

Roger Sergel

CBS Evening News Eddie Magnus

Bob Epstein

CNN Andrew Holts

Rhonda Rowland

MacNeil Lehrer Newshour Suzanne Allard

The Today Show

Good Morning America

CBS Good Morning

Fox Morning News

CNBC

Nation's Business Today

Consumer Health

Longevity Kerrin Griffith

Shape Kathy Tomlinson

Prevention Lewis Vaughn

The Good Health Magazine

Health Care Allen Ryan

Health and You Tom Livingston

Health Progress Susan Hume

Health Resources Diane Price

Health World Jeff Kravitz

Hippocrates

Better Health Susan Brown

Health Facts Mary Ann Napoli

Health Science Susan Taylor

New Body Magazine Nayda Rondon

Your Health Susan Gregg

Consumer Newsletters

Harvard Medical School Health Letter Dr. Williams Bennett

University of California, Berkeley, Wellness Letter Editor

The Johns Hopkins Newsletter, Health After 50

American Hospital Association -- Outreach Editor

Better Health Editor

Health By Choice Editor

The Health Reporter Editor

Healthline Editor

Wellness Associates Newsletter John Travis

General Medical

Medical Tribune Bill Ingram

Physician's Weekly Mark Bloom

Modern Medicine Martin Stevenson

Medical World News Don Gibbons

Plastic Surgery News

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

American Journal of Reconstructive Surgery

Women's Magazines

Family Circle Nancy Josephson

Good Housekeeping Linda Troiano

Ladies Home Journal Nelly Edmonson Gupta

McCall's Jane Chou

Redbook Toni Hope

Woman's Day Diane Debrovner

Lear's Delia Marshall

APPENDIX B

DOW CORNING WRIGHT

SPOKESWOMEN GRASSROOTS PROGRAM

PROGRESS UPDATE

October 11, 1991

SAN FRANCISCO -- DARCY SIXT

New York Times -- Has an interview either 10/13 or 10/14 with Jane Gross, a reporter from Berkeley who currently is covering the negative side of the story in L.A. Story is scheduled to appear in the national edition, but don't yet have date secured. Will advise. Called Darcy due to referral of San Francisco Y-Me chapter.

Ann Landers -- Adapted a sample letter we wrote and sent in care of the San Jose Mercury News. See attached.

KTVU -- Will do taping 10/18 with reporter Tracy Gallagher for morning show out of Oakland either at 7:50 a.m. or 8:50 a.m.

San Francisco Chronicle -- Wrote letter to the editor. See attached.

People Magazine -- Wrote letter in response to recent Ann Jillian piece. See attached.

KPIX -- Wrote letter to local TV station. Awaiting response.

San Jose Mercury News -- Will contact Donna Alvarado, Medical Editor.

Dr. David Kessler -- See attached letter.

Y-Me -- Making presentation to San Francisco group 10/22.

ATLANTA -- HILDA MORRIS

CNN -- Have interview scheduled with Susan Dutchman, medical reporter, for 10/28. Will be a 2:30 piece focusing on women with breast cancer and their daughters; if implants are banned, what are their daughters left with? Will also interview Bostwick. Scheduled to air 11/1 or 11/2.

Channel 46 -- Conducted interview on 10/10 with Karen Green for a News at 10 piece. Also interviewed her surgeon, Dr. John Bostwick/Emory University and a woman with problem-free implants for 20 years. Should air 10/16 or 10/17.

Spokeswomen Grassroots Program

Progress Updated

October 11, 1991

Gwinitt Daily News -- Conducted interview with reporter at Atlanta's second largest daily for this Sunday's (10/13) features section.

Letters to the editor -- Sent to Atlanta Daily World and other suburban papers.

Queries -- Talked to Atlanta Journal/Constitution, several suburban papers and several TV stations. Will continue pursuing.

Letter-writing -- Encouraging group of daughters of women with implants to write to Kessler and congressional members.

"Race for the Cure"/10/26 -- May have group of 10 from her Bosom Buddies/Top Hat Review walk in the one-mile portion carrying a banner announcing the right to informed decision. Checking with race organizers for approval.

LOS ANGELES -- SHEILA BERKMAN

KOH -- Conducting interview with Reno Radio station satellited to mountain-area radio stations.

Has been out-of-town for one week' pursuing media now.

MIAMI -- MARY ANN MARKS

20/20 -- Reporter contacted her regarding another issue at Baptist Hospital; pitched implant story and will be conducting interview next week. Will advise as details arise.

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