Every year, over a million children die of pneumonia and other respiratory
diseases around the world. That's one child lost every 35 seconds.
Pfizer and GSK have a pneumonia vaccine. However, they price the vaccine so
that the countries that need it most can't afford it. And the countries can't even
negotiate because the pharmaceutical companies are completely opaque about
Doctors Without Borders (globally known as Médecins Sans Frontières)
needed a way to pressure Pfizer and GSK to reveal their pricing policy,
with the ultimate goal of convincing the companies of the need to lower the
In the age of the 24/7 news cycle, we had to drive awareness and participation around a complex issue with little time and almost zero budget.
Our solution: focus primarily on one channel (Twitter), create a hashtag that functions as a call-to-action (#AskPharma) and employ a creative device designed to spotlight Big Pharma's lack of transparency (an ASCII symbol that allowed us to hide information in our posts, resulting in the internet's first-ever "Redacted Tweets.")
Through pointed questions around pricing addressed to @Pfizer and @GSK — with key words blacked out — we delivered a simple, effective way to pressure Big Pharma.
In just a few short weeks, our Redacted Tweets/#AskPharma initiative: