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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cervarix Blogspot - Astroturfing?

The photo's from this post have been removed at the request of the owner, Dr. Wan C. Hung.


I have to be careful here as the images are taken from blogs and I don't want to be accused of copyright theft by GlaxoSmithKline or the person/s behind the blogs I am about to feature.

Firstly, for those of you that are not familiar with the term, 'Astroturfing'

Wikipedia defines it as thus:

"Astroturfing denotes political, advertising, or public relations campaigns that are formally planned by an organization, but are disguised as spontaneous, popular "grassroots" behavior.

The goal of such campaigns is to disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event. Astroturfers attempt to orchestrate the actions of apparently diverse and geographically distributed individuals, by both overt ("outreach", "awareness", etc.) and covert (disinformation) means. Astroturfing may be undertaken by an individual promoting a personal agenda, or highly organized professional groups with money from large corporations, unions, non-profits, or activist organizations. Very often, the efforts are conducted by political consultants who also specialize in opposition research. Beneficiaries are not "grass root" campaigners but distant organizations that orchestrate such campaigns."


So, with this in mind, let me introduce you to the CERVARIX -THE MEDICAL REVOLUTION blog.

The tagline:

"WE ARE PRIVILEGED TO LIVE IN AN ERA TO WITNESS THE DISCOVERY OF A REVOLUTIONARY VACCINE THAT IS FOREVER IMMORTALIZED IN THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE,AND AS A MILESTONE IN THE QUEST BY MANKIND TO CONQUER DISEASES." -DR WAN C.H.


The disclaimer:

This blog is created purely by the author's own initiative with the intention of creating an awareness among the community in matters concerning health and science.

Contents in this blog is based upon the author's own opinion and not being influenced or given remuneration in any form by the manufacturer of the products endorsed by the author.

The contents are written based upon the author's experience, and does not represent the actual fact. The opinion written in the post is deduced by author, and facts derived from medical studies is accompanied with references.

This blog is not created for financial gains, nor serves as an advertisement for the clinic which the author is based.

I do not guarantee any information provided on this site or in the comments, I disclaim any liabilities for any information I carry. Any information you contribute to the site becomes my property. I reserve the right to edit or remove any comments for any reason whatsoever at my discretion. By using this site you agree not to hold me or liable for anything stated within it's pages.


Seems to have covered themselves pretty well.

A post from May 19th caught my attention. It's entitled, "Preparation for Cervical Cancer Prevention Weekend," and kicks off with, "This post is written based upon the author's own initiative, and not being influenced in any way, nor being given any form of remuneration by the pharmaceutical company of which the product is highlighted."

The remainder of the post sees the author tells us how important it is to spread the word about Cervarix. It contains a series of photo's showing the promotional material that GlaxoSmithKline, the manufaturers of the Cervarix vaccine, have sent to the clinic hosting the "Preparation for Cervical Cancer Prevention Weekend."

The blog author goes out on a limb with her first uploaded image - it's almost as if they have been instructed to point out the following message:

"The eye catching posters being provided for by GSK. One should note that no clinic is allowed to advertise the products available, however, this poster did not mention the world Cervarix, merely an eye opener for the public."


The photo's from this post have been removed at the request of the owner, Dr. Wan C. Hung.

Quite impressive huh?

It's at this point that I should inform you that the blog appears to be aimed at citizens of Kuala Lumpur - Although with such an eye-catching url, cervarix.blogspot.com, I think it safe to assume that GlaxoSmithKline have their own free advertising of the controversial vaccine.

The remainder of the post sees various photos of promotional items. The first being a word puzzle. The author writes:

"Word puzzles or patients while waiting for their turn for counseling or vaccination."


The photo's from this post have been removed at the request of the owner, Dr. Wan C. Hung.

One thing that stood out with this promotional item is that there is no mention of Cervarix. But study the picture folks. One cannot help to be drawn to the huge letter X.

It's genius isn't it. Put the word Cervical against a huge letter X, accompany a GSK logo and voila, you have a brilliant subliminal message that, in the eyes of the law, is perfectly innocent and not advertising a brand.

I have said it many times on this blog - GSK have a brilliant advertising team. Only they could advertise a brand...without actually mentioning its name.

There are many more promotional items posted.

Balloons
Badges
Bags
Door hangers
Posters
More bags


All with that huge letter X folks.

The final photo sees a poster advertising the Cervarix Blogspot.

The photo's from this post have been removed at the request of the owner, Dr. Wan C. Hung.

Let's move on now to the author's other blog. This one has the name, BETTER DAYS
ROSE THAT GREW FROM THE CONCRETE - the url is, http://www.hippocrates1976.com

hippocrates1976.com is the intellectual property of the owner, Wan Chee Hung.

The leading post, as of the time of writing, is exactly the same as the leading post on the cervarix.blogspot.com.

Same disclaimer, same promotional photo's - same message.

Wan Chee Hung has this to say about himself:

I did south Australian Matriculation for 9 months before doing my undergraduate program in Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery in India. I served for a year in Manipal, India before coming back to Malaysia in 2001 to serve with our Government Hospital for another 4 years...

...I did further training in Cosmetic and Anti Aging Medicine in Australia. I am a Board Certified Laser Safety Officer registered in the state of Queensland, Australia...

...I am currently a cosmetic and anti aging doctor, who is also a writer, active blogger. I love to challenge my own capability...


The 'BETTER DAYS ROSE THAT GREW FROM THE CONCRETE' blog does feature a vast array of posts where the author blogs about different subjects, unlike the cervarix blog he authors, which was first created in March 2009 and is solely about cerical cancer and Glaxo's vaccine, Cervarix.

However, it should be noted that Wan Chee Hung has a leaning toward GSK products.

This post from the 'BETTER DAYS ROSE THAT GREW FROM THE CONCRETE' blog, entitled, 'Relenza Has Finally Arrived' says it all really:

...Relenza which has a much safety profile compared to Tamiflu has very limited stock due to shortage of stock. Hence before prescribing the medication, customers are subjected to a thorough medical history.

...For those who are traveling overseas, please take note that unlike Vaccine, Relenza provides prophylaxis as long as you continuously consume it.


Manufacturers of Relenza?

GlaxoSmithKline.

Finally, Wan Chee Hung links to the Power Over Cervical Cancer website, a site brought to you by The National Cancer Society of Malaysia.

THE National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM), supported by GlaxoSmithKline Pharma-ceutical (GSK) launched Power Over Cervical Cancer (POCC) campaign in July last year, aimed at educating and creating awareness about cervical cancer.


Sometimes this shit just writes itself.


If I have infringed copyright by including photo's in this post then I shall remove them if contacted by the owner.

My aim, like Wan Chee Hung's, is to bring about awareness regarding GlaxoSmithKline and it's products - although admittedly, I don't promote them as Wan Chee Hung does.

**Update

A reader has spotted this from Wan Chee Hung's website:

http://www.hippocrates1976.com/

"First of all, on behalf of Klinik Wan & Keluarga, we would like to personally thank Miss Wendy from GSK who has been so helpful in furnishing me with updates concerning this vaccine. Her help in providing materials in this campaign has been monumental and instrumental. If it isn't for her help, the campaign wouldn't have materialized."


FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Astroturfing

The goal of such campaigns is to disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event. Astroturfers attempt to orchestrate the actions of apparently diverse and geographically distributed individuals, by both overt ("outreach", "awareness", etc.) and covert (disinformation) means. Astroturfing may be undertaken by an individual promoting a personal agenda, or highly organized professional groups with money from large corporations, unions, non-profits, or activist organizations. Very often, the efforts are conducted by political consultants who also specialize in opposition research. Beneficiaries are not "grass root" campaigners but distant organizations that orchestrate such campaigns. [SOURCE]

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