EAACI Allergy Awareness Campaign

Are you “trapped by allergy”? A new allergy awareness campaign has arrived in Europe that focuses specifically on food allergy and anaphylaxis during the next two months.

The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), which hosted the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Meeting I attended in Dublin last fall, launched its allergy awareness campaign in June 2014. It started in Copenhagen, where EAACI hosted its annual congress, using a street marketing campaign that featured the message of people being “trapped by allergy.”

“Allergy is a condition that affects people’s lifestyle and ability to work. An allergic person can fear insignificant things with which we come into contact on a daily basis, such as plants, pets, insects, food or drugs, and this leads them to feel trapped in their condition.” —EAACI President Nikolaos G. Papadopoulos

For more information about the June 2014 launch of this campaign, check out EAACI’s press release or see the video below that highlights the street campaign in Copenhagen.


EAACI’s Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Wave

On March 9, 2015, EAACI released a third press release (the second press release focused on asthma) to begin the food allergy and anaphylaxis wave of its allergy awareness campaign.

In all, EAACI estimates that over 17 million Europeans have a food allergy. Furthermore, it reports that 1 out of every 20 children has at least one food allergy. Over the last decade, food allergy cases have doubled, with a 7-fold increase in the number of hospitalizations caused by severe allergic reactions. Given these numbers, EAACI finds that “more awareness and education is needed to improve management of food allergies and anaphylaxis.”

During March and April 2015, according to the campaign website, EAACI will have an online campaign targeting five countries: Italy, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. It also plans to disseminate printed materials via primary care organizations, patient organizations, national allergy societies and pharmacist organizations.

What are your initial thoughts on EAACI’s allergy awareness campaign? I’m curious to hear what you think about it. Please leave a comment below, when you have the chance. I’ll continue to share information via Facebook and Twitter, as I learn more about this campaign.

Finally, if you are interested in getting involved with this EAACI’s campaign, check out the campaign website for additional resources and information.

Beware of Allergy

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2 thoughts on “EAACI Allergy Awareness Campaign

  1. hsw says:

    Personally I think the campaign perpetuates confusion between food and environmental allergy by depicting someone sneezing but not much else. I think the box is attention grabbing but the word allergy should have been reversed so it looked backwards from the outside but could be read from the perspective of the person in the box. Oh, and the first as implied there was a cure for symptoms which I wasn’t sure of. I don’t mean to sound critical but the campaign gets attention in the videos and doesn’t quite know what to do to depict what things are like. Maybe once in the box people would see regular life events with poison substituted instead of the regular scenario (ex: instead of cake at a party with flowers, something at a hazard symbol). I do commend them for trying to get at the emotional impact, though!

    • Heddi says:

      Homa, Thanks so much for weighing in on this. I heard another person at the conference I attended also express concern over the use of “cure” as part of this campaign. I think the campaign’s launch grabbed people’s attention, but I felt the tone was a bit negative (I shared my thoughts with EAACI already). Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I hope people don’t feel “trapped” by their allergies. I want people to have a better understanding of allergies (symptoms, how it’s different than an intolerance and how to manage an allergy, etc.), but I don’t want people feeling sorry for folks with food allergies. The latest food allergy and anaphylaxis component of the EAACI campaign has focused on the theme of “beware of allergy,” rather than “trapped by allergy.” Look forward to seeing the other materials that it shares during the next 2 months. There’s a wide range of allergic diseases being covered by the full campaign, so this more specific information on FA will be more targeted (and hopefully a little more positive, in my opinion). I really value your opinion, so thanks again for sharing your comments!

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