E-health companies are increasing advertising for the morning after pill


Companies that sell sexual health products and medications on the Internet are changing their marketing strategies to highlight the availability of mail-order emergency contraception, commonly known as the morning after pill.

Some are also using their emergency birth control advertising to protest government actions against reproductive rights, including the Supreme Court’s elimination of the Constitutional right to abortion when it struck down Roe v. Wade.

Hey Favor Inc., a direct provider of birth control, including emergency contraception, pregnancy tests and skin care products, recently spent a large portion of its marketing budget on campaigns promoting the right to abortion. Its latest outdoor advertisements, which began running two weeks ago ahead of the High Court ruling, argue that the end of the federal constitutional right to abortion foreshadows future limits on contraception.

Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, the legal fate of abortion is left to the discretion of states. The WSJ’s Jennifer Calfas explains where abortion access stands in the United States. Photo illustration: Laura Kammermann

“They’re coming for your abortion,” reads an ad from the company, which does business as Favor. “Your birth control is next.”

The campaign is Favor’s first since its name change in May from the Pill Club. While the company under this guise advertised its emergency contraception, its marketing had focused more on advertisements for birth control prescriptions.

Unlike pills that are taken to induce an abortion early in pregnancy, morning-after pills temporarily prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg in the days following unprotected sex, thus preventing fertilization. They are legal in all states.

New, more political campaigns advertising direct-to-consumer emergency contraception roll out as companies such as CVS Health Corp.

and Wal-Mart Inc.

start rationing the pills amid a surge in demand. Some online vendors encourage customers to stock up for later emergencies.

Favor allows customers to purchase up to 10 courses of emergency contraception per order and place additional orders without limit.

“Given the timing of the [Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization] decision, which we expected shortly after our name change, we were convinced that our first advertising campaign should educate patients, women and menstruating people about the issues, how to access care and how to prepare for a post-Roe world, without bias,” said Lauren Scrima, brand marketing manager at Favor.

Women-focused healthcare brands such as Get Stix Inc., which does business as Stix, and Nurx, which merged in February with healthcare company Thirty Madison Inc., have channeled their marketing budgets towards campaigns designed to explain how emergency birth control works. its availability online and dispel misconceptions that it is a form of early abortion.

Stix, which also sells pregnancy tests, supplements and reproductive health drugs, reallocated its digital marketing budget to advertising Restart, its own morning-after pill released June 21, the co-founder and co-founder said. co-managing director Jamie Norwood.

The company launched its first out-of-home campaign last week, posting ads for Restart alongside reproductive rights messages on billboards within 5 miles of crisis pregnancy centers in states that have prepared l ban on abortion for the time being. Roe v. Wade was canceled via so-called trigger laws. These centers often aim to dissuade visitors from having an abortion.

Previous Stix campaigns have not addressed abortion rights, Ms Norwood said. “We focused more on the value propositions of our individual products and left politics behind,” she said.

Stix also engaged PR agency Jennifer Bett Communications to raise awareness about Restart, as well as the ability for customers to stock up on the morning after pill due to its shelf life of up to 20 months, particularly in the 13 states that had trigger laws. in place, Ms. Norwood said.

The company processed 10 times more restart orders on Monday than last Friday, Ms Norwood said. Just over 72% of purchases made on Monday included more than one dose, she said. Late Tuesday after this article was published, Stix began limiting pills to two per order, after previously letting customers place orders without a limit.

According to Kelly Gardiner, vice president of communications at parent Thirty Madison.

“We expect to see even higher numbers now that the Supreme Court has officially released its decision and people are making long-term plans on how to support their healthcare decisions,” Ms Gardiner said. . The company is limiting customers to five pills per order to manage demand and ensure equitable access, she said.

Nurx changed its marketing plan to focus on education about emergency contraception, releasing guides on how it works, creating a flowchart to help customers understand when and if they should take it, and investing in paid search and social media advertising to target those with questions about unprotected sex and pregnancy.

Before the leak Roe v. Wade said the company was more evenly marketing all of its products and services, including home testing kits and the HIV prevention pill known as PrEP, Ms Gardiner said.

The company also lowered the price of its morning-after pill, called New Day, to $14.99 from $20, Ms. Gardiner said.

“We really wanted to make it more affordable for people who need to stock up,” she said.

Write to Katie Deighton at [email protected]

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