303 MullenLowe launches hub to help 250,000 teens suffering from severe allergies

A hub for Australians living with severe allergies has been created to provide the tools and support they need to overcome any social and emotional challenges attached to living with the condition.

303 MullenLowe partnered with the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia to develop the 250k website.

The website gives information on how to give an epipen, advice on reading the ingredients labels every time and why it’s important, eating out with a food allergy, drinking with an allergy, dating and kissing with an allergy, travelling with an allergy, managing parents and signs and symptoms.

The 250k campaign started out as a survey conducted by the National Allergy Strategy Scheme which found many teenagers with severe allergies were not carrying their epipen due to fear of standing out.

Commissioned by the Australian government, the website uses real voices, personified through a cartoon character.

Group managing director at 303 MullenLowe, Derry Simpson, said in a statement: “It was heartbreaking to hear about the challenges this group was facing every day. Being a teenager is hard enough, without feeling like you’re different all the time. Many of these kids avoided going out with their friends so they didn’t draw attention to themselves and some hadn’t even told anyone around them they had an allergy which is dangerous in itself.

“What they all wanted was a place they could go that was just for them. Somewhere they could find the answers to their questions and the tools and resources they needed to help them have conversations about their allergies with their friends. And a place where they could share their stories and talk to others their own age, who are going through the same thing. And that’s exactly what 250K is designed to be,” she said.

Peter Liddell, head of digital at 303 MullenLowe, said: “It’s really rewarding to see how the youth advisory group have responded to the website. They found the content really useful and relatable but in a really fun way. They love the animated characters and are asking for even more. So in response, we’ll be optimising the site and launching some additional functionality over coming weeks to allow kids to ‘share their feels’ and to create and share their own avatars.

“Over time we’re looking to add Snapchat geo-filters targeted to allergy clinics and related medical centres. These will be important tools in socially enabling the campaign, de-stigmatising the problem amongst teens and generally increasing awareness of the issue,” he said.

Maria Said, co-chair of the National Allergy Strategy and CEO of Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA), said: “Increasing awareness around allergy management is vitally important, particularly amongst young people aged in their teens up to early twenties, when people may be reluctant to share information about their severe allergy, and may not be as vigilant about avoiding allergens.

“This new website provides teens and young adults with the information that they’ve asked for, to help enable them to live safely and independently. The resource is designed to engage, interest and inform them,” she said.

Fleur Townley, director of Lanham PR, the agency responsible for media outreach, said: “Lanham PR is proud to work in partnership with the National Allergy Strategy to raise the profile of such an important issue. Media are always very interested in allergies because it significantly affects so many Australians.”


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