— “Dementia Debunked” Campaign Makes Dentsu PR the First Japanese Entry to Win Prestigious Honor in Nine Years –
Tokyo, February 24, 2006 – Dentsu Public Relations Inc. has won its first ever Grand Prix Award for excellence in public relations from the International Public Relations Association (IPRA), the foremost association for international public relations professionals.The award ceremony in London, England, recognized Dentsu PR for work done on the “Dementia Debunked” project, an ongoing educational campaign about the disease undertaken for pharmaceutical companies Eisai Co. and Pfizer Inc. The Grand Prix Award capped off a tremendously successful 2005 for Dentsu PR as last July “Dementia Debunked” also took top honors in the IPRA awards sub-category of ‘Health Organizations’.
In selecting Dentsu PR for the highly coveted Grand Prix Award, Jury Chairman Sheila O’Sullivan said, “All 40 members of the jury panel unanimously recommended it. The Dementia Debunked campaign should serve as a reference for the entire global PR community, especially the research and surveys which were outstanding.”
Competing against 239 entries from 39 different countries around the world, Dentsu PR is the first Japanese PR firm to have won the Grand Prix Award in nine years.“Dementia Debunked”, conducted between November 1999 and December 2004, used exhaustive qualitative and quantitative research involving hundreds of hours of interviews with the caregivers of dementia sufferers to identify misperceptions about the disease in Japan. This first phase program revealed the depths of dementia’s stigma in Japanese society, the medical community’s inadequate understanding of the disease, and the low incidence of early-screening among people most at risk.
Using the wealth of data accumulated, Dentsu PR collaborated with Japan’s medical community to better educate both doctors and patients about the disease and provided Eisai and Pfizer with a far better understanding of ways to approach treatment of dementia sufferers amid a rapidly aging Japanese population.
Dentsu PR account executive Kenji Hanaue has overseen the “Dementia Debunked” campaign since its inception in 1999 and continues to work on the project today. “To receive the PR world’s most prestigious award is an incredible honor. Compared to America and Europe, awareness of PR in Japan is quite low but I’m hopeful that this award will help raise the importance and necessity of PR here,” says Hanaue.
Dentsu PR has won five previous IPRA Golden World Awards – 1991 (two awards), 1993, 2003 and 2004 – though 2005 marks the company’s first in the “Health Organizations” category as well as their first ever Grand Prix Award.