Friday, May 04, 2007

HealthAnswersTV gives marketers more opps to reach patients

HealthAnswersTV gives marketers more opps to reach patients

HealthAnswersTV, a series of lifestyle programs on health topics, will begin airing this summer on the Internet and other video on demand (VOD) platforms offering pharma a new venue to reach a targeted consumer base. The platform, created by HD video company AnswersMedia, will kick off with a series of condition-specific programs that provide consumers with relevant information, as well as a daily broadcast of consumer health news. "This relevant engaging media is a perfect way for pharma to be associated with condition specific information that the consumer needs," Jeff Bohnson, chief executive officer of AnswersMedia tells ePharm5. Next in development will be a series of condition-specific nutrition-based programs entitled "Let's Eat," and a series of discussions from industry leaders on important topics in the industry called "Can We Talk." The shows will be available through major Web sites, portals, cable providers, and other partners. The programs can be sponsored or created for a private label for its syndication partners.

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Online asthma management program improves teen health more than Web sites

Online asthma management program improves teen health more than Web sites

According to a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine earlier this week, a new online asthma program might help educate urban minority teenagers about their condition and improve their treatment, Reuters Health reports. Researchers tested the Internet program with computers in six Detroit high schools and focused on common problems among teenage asthmatics, including adhering to preventive medication, limiting wheezing attacks, and not smoking. The study found that one year later, the 162 mostly black teens who used the program reported fewer asthma symptoms and missed fewer school days than students who were directed to existing asthma-related Web sites. The participants who used the Web-based program also were less likely to be hospitalized for an asthma attack during the year.

Go to AJRCCM <>  to read the abstract.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Experts in Marketing to Boomers Release New Data About Habits and Trends of Women Online

Experts in Marketing to Boomers Release New Data About Habits and Trends of Women Online
Sunday April 29, 7:56 pm ET 
Findings from the First JWT/ThirdAge Joint Research Initiative to be Announced at the Annual Marketing to Women Conference

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ThirdAge Inc. and JWT BOOM will release new findings in the way Boomer women are using the Internet at the 3rd Annual M2W -- The Marketing to Women Conference, being held April 25 and 26, at the Chicago Cultural Center. The first online research study resulting from a new strategic partnership by JWT BOOM and ThirdAge Inc. formed earlier this year was conducted online at with approximately 1,100 women 40 years of age and older.

The survey was designed to help marketers better understand the current interests, preferences and habits of Baby Boomer and mid-life women called ThirdAgers, and their use of online media and the Internet. Results reveal compelling new data, according to Sharon Whiteley, CEO of ThirdAge Inc. and Lori Bitter, Senior Partner at JWT BOOM. In addition, research findings bring to light a number of significant differences between these women as they enter different life stages.

"Women Boomers are spending over 15 hours a week on the Internet," according to Lori Bitter, Senior Partner at JWT BOOM. "The stereotype that they're not aggressive Internet users or online shoppers is definitely proving to be incorrect. Our study shows that they're increasingly using the Internet in a variety of ways, from staying in contact with family and friends, to researching products before purchasing offline and actually making purchases online. Surprising to some, the older they are, the longer they are staying online."

Seeking information around health, finding resources and engaging in community inter-actions are also increasing among ThirdAgers. "Over 83% of all respondents are researching or reading content online around health and wellness; not only for themselves, but also for their families," continues Sharon Whiteley. "Further, almost 70% say they would definitely or probably get Health information from their friends. This illustrates the peer word-of-mouth value this dynamic audience holds; one which we have always known," she adds. "ThirdAgers trust people who have walked in their shoes and look at life through empathic lenses."

Both Bitter and Whiteley expressed delight that their new research was being highlighted at the M2W Conference, both believing this event to be the premiere forum for leading-edge marketers genuinely interested in the lucrative women's market. "M2W is produced by PME Enterprises of Hartford, CT, a conference and event company with an outstanding reputation for attracting thought leaders - both in the audience and on stage - and for producing stellar experiences," they added.

"M2W...The Marketing To Women Conference, truly brings the foremost experts in marketing to women together with blue chip brand and agency decision makers providing cutting-edge research, effective solutions and invaluable networking resources. Baby boomer women represent a powerful consumer demographic and a formidable financial force. Our audience wants to know more about them and this new research from JWT BOOM and ThirdAge provides actionable insights," says Nan McCann, president of PME Enterprises LLC, and M2W founder/producer.

ThirdAge Inc. is a leading online, media, marketing and consumer insight company exclusively serving the baby boomer and aging midlife market, people generally in their 40's - 60's. Pioneers in the arena, the site attracts over 500,000 unique visitors a month with a core focus around community based health and wellness content, relationships and life stage transitions.

JWT BOOM is the premier integrated marketing firm specializing in reaching consumers ages 40+. Providing results-driven strategy and execution, JWT BOOM excels at helping clients build profitable and lasting relationships with boomers and mature consumers, the fastest growing and most financially powerful segment in the country.



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PR Newswire to Offer Comprehensive Blog Measurement Tool

PR Newswire to Offer Comprehensive Blog Measurement Tool

Denver - Partnership with Umbria gives communications professionals a sophisticated tool to track blogosphere discussions and measure how messages resonate among consumers 

New York and Boulder, Colo., May 2, 2007/PR Newswire/-- PR Newswire today announced a partnership with Umbria, a market intelligence company that specializes in blog research and consumer generated media (CGM) for market insight, to provide clients with a comprehensive blog measurement tool that allows them to assess the impact of online consumer conversations about their company, products and brands.

PR Newswire’s MediaSense™ Blog Measurement, as the service is called, uses Umbria’s proprietary technology, and allows PR Newswire clients to track blog conversations around a press release or a news topic, and monitor how these conversations grow and wane. Umbria’s patent-pending technology is unique in how it analyzes blogosphere discussions and provides a graphical assessment of the conversation tone and participant demographics.

“The advent of citizen-generated media has both delighted and confounded public relations professionals,” said Dave Armon, chief operating officer, PR Newswire. “As the leading communications service provider for corporate, government and public policy PR officers, PR Newswire views bloggers and their readers as additional key audiences, and this new tool provides our customers with actionable feedback on how their messages are resonating with audiences in the blogosphere, which is 75 million blogs strong and growing.” 

MediaSense™ Blog Measurement helps customers determine which consumer segments are most engaged in a discussion, enabling them to better understand their target markets and tailor their communications strategies accordingly. It can be used to evaluate the response in the blogosphere for short-term events, such as product launches or tradeshow participation, or to collect ongoing feedback throughout the year.

“Bloggers are thought leaders and opinion-shapers, so tracking who and how quickly they pick up on various news items has become critical for brand and PR professionals,” said Howard Kaushansky, president of Umbria. “If it’s positive, you want to know. If it’s a mushroom cloud of negativity, you definitely need to know. This partnership gives that knowledge to PR Newswire clients.”

MediaSense™ Blog Measurement, a subscription-based service, provides users with:

·         Quantitative and qualitative analysis of how their messages are resonating in the blogosphere, including the number of blog posts on a given press release topic, and the demographic profile of that conversation (male/female; Gen Y, Gen X, Baby Boomer).

·         Reports that indicate if the traffic on a particular discussion is increasing or decreasing, as well as if new voices have entered the conversation or if the discussion is dying down. 

 “Companies spend enormous energy and effort trying to get messages out to their markets, and historically, the only way to measure the success has been to track how many articles are written as a result,” said Janet Eden-Harris, CEO of Umbria. “This new service is a breakthrough in focusing on the consumer discussions that are generated. Is it being discussed? If so, is it positive? What demographic groups are talking the most?”

The new MediaSense™ Blog Measurement service complements a groundbreaking relationship PR Newswire forged in early January with Technorati that enables readers of press releases issued over PR Newswire to have one-click access to blogs that are discussing and linking to a press release, directly from the press release itself.

In addition to its first-of-its-kind partnerships with Umbria and Technorati, PR Newswire has taken the following steps to date to help communications professionals communicate with leading bloggers:

  • Incorporated bloggers into its media-only Web site, PR Newswire for Journalists
  • Created more than 500 subject and industry RSS feeds of customers’ press releases for access by bloggers
  • Invited bloggers to post to the ProfNet Experts network
  • Profiled leading bloggers in MEDIAtlas, PR Newswire’s online media database
  • Monitored blogs to report on where keywords are appearing through the US1 Media Monitoring and eWatch monitoring services

 “With the introduction of MediaSense™ Blog Measurement, we are taking the obvious next step in providing a full-spectrum of blog communications tools,” said Armon.

Two years ago, PR Newswire brought media evaluation to the masses by introducing the first comprehensive, yet truly affordable media measurement tool, MediaSense. Today, hundreds of organizations spanning dozens of industries rely on MediaSense to provide comprehensive evaluation of their media coverage.

MediaSense™ Blog Measurement can be purchased in conjunction with, or separate from, MediaSense. MediaSense analyzes content from print and online publications and can be deployed over any 90-day period or utilized throughout the course of a full year on an annual subscription. Reports are delivered monthly and contain an evaluation of media coverage based upon several measures including volume of coverage, coverage by media type, tonality (positive, negative, neutral), the presence of key corporate messages within articles, the overall quality of coverage based upon an article’s length, placement, publication type and tone, and the equivalent ad value. Metrics are evaluated based upon comparison to a company’s key competitors, while also offering an unbiased assessment of how a company is portrayed in the press. 

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

NBA Enters Second Life

NBA Enters Second Life

How hip is the National Basketball Association? After signing a deal with Google to host its highlights on YouTube, the NBA enlisted the services of virtual-world content creator Electric Sheep to build an NBA headquarters in Second Life. It's cool looking and interactive.

Whereas Second Lifers might head over to the Reuters or CNET headquarters and then never return -- is there anything to actually do there? -- the NBA playground has games and features designed to bring people back. Electric Sheep, which has worked for several big brands in Second Life, created the HQ and its activities, which includes a 3-D simulation of NBA games in progress. Users sit in the stands and are able to change their viewpoint with ease, unlike real life. They can also to take to the courts to play a game of H.O.R.S.E.

The partnership could also be a boon to Second Life, too, as NBA fans will now be able to join from the Web site. The virtual playground, which is now open, is sponsored by T-Mobile, Toyota and Cisco Systems. Call it NBA Media, Inc.: "This is an area we find to be very exciting," league commissioner David Stern said. "It's causing us to rethink overall the concept of how our fans consume NBA content." The conference call was even broadcast in Second Life.

Read the whole story... <

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Blogging hits corporate world

Blogging hits corporate world

The Times of India via NewsEdge Corporation :

NEW DELHI: Expressing anguish over Manu Sharma's acquittal or taking up cudgels on behalf of Chaman Lal Mattoo, blogs have become an important medium for middle class India to express its ire against the state's inability to punish the rich and well-heeled.

But now, marketers are looking at blogs as a powerful social media. Corporate blogging activity is either internal (where they are used as a collaborative tool among employees to share inputs) or external (as a medium of interaction with customers). Most importantly, communication with stakeholders is direct and two-way.

For example, HLL's SunSilkGangofGirls is a community-driven portal whose blogging feature is a hit with users. Infosys also has a corporate blog, 'Think Flat', launched last year after CEO Nandan Nilekani had discussions with Stephen Pratt, head of its consulting unit.

Contributors include Infosys board members, unit heads and executives. A company spokesperson says, "In this forum, we share our perspectives with our clients and other business professionals. The blog enables us to have a dialogue, instead of simply publishing our perspectives to clients."

Says Rajesh Lalwani, founder, Blogworks,"Increasingly, corporations too are keeping track of blogs as they want to know what is being said about their company online." That's because online search and word of mouth (for product reviews) is becoming the norm every day. "Users wanting to know more about a company need not rely on the company website alone. There are other online sources as well," explains Lalwani. His company provides strategic solutions to brands and corporations wanting to use this medium effectively.

Reliance Communications too launched Mblog, its mobile blogging service, sometime back. Reliance users can transmit images, videos and thoughts by posting the content from their mobiles. Over 50,000 people have used this service so far. "Right now, only a niche segment (geeks and nerds) use our service.

But blogs are directly linked with the growth of multi-media messaging. Blogs will drive MMS usage,"predicts Krishna Durbha, head, business and marketing, value added services, Reliance Communications.

There is also a celebrity cult attached with blogging. In countries like the US, many CEOs and leaders have started writing their own blogs. Says Rajeev Karwal, founder, Milagrow Business and Knowledge Solutions, "Blogs are an effective medium of transferring knowledge to junior and middle-level executives." This former president of Reliance Retail started his blog last August.

Karwal says he wants to reach out to middle and junior management executives this way. "Many middle-level executives pass through professional mid-life crisis. Through my blog, I want to redefine the meaning of success. It's not just fame, power and fortune that connote success. Personal success (with family and friends) is equally important," he states.

But corporate blogging has its perils too. Says Pavan Duggal, advocate,"Many blogs are invariably located in servers outside India and corporations have no control over them. There is danger of washing dirty linen in public. After all, a blog is a public diary. Trade secrets can be unintentionally revealed in a public domain."

<<The Times of India -- 03/19/07>>

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Cancer Goes Viral for Young Adults

Cancer Goes Viral for Young Adults

Business Wire via NewsEdge Corporation :

Business Editors/Health Editors BROOKLYN, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 16, 2007--Two new support websites have harnessed the power of social media and are rapidly changing the way that adolescents and young adults (AYA) affected by cancer deal with the disease, socially network and benefit from trusted content.

Launched by Steps For Living in December, 2006, and its MySpace counterpart,, are part of a progressive, hip new youth culture brand, i(2)y, that is bridging a critical communications gap for the AYA cancer community. These one-stop portals facilitate social networking and engender community wealth by connecting the dots between patient, provider and psychosocial support programs and services. Visitors to the sites gain unprecedented access to credentialed, peer-developed directories of AYA support organizations, forums, blogs, chat rooms, advocacy tools, camp retreats and more.

"The convergence of social media with cancer advocacy, coupled with recent polling data about AYA consumer trends, demands new models in survivorship programming for the youth cancer culture," said Matthew Zachary, founder and executive director of Steps For Living and an 11-year young adult survivor of pediatric brain cancer. "Within a week of our MySpace launch, we had 450 friends and a wellspring of subsequent web hits. We're meeting a real need as access to vetted and trustworthy content is tantamount to resource literacy and increased quality of life."

Since it's launch, i(2)y has spawned an affiliate network of over 110 cancer treatment centers, including Dana Farber, MD Anderson, Mayo Clinic, Sloan Kettering and St. Jude, along with chapters of The American Cancer Society and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, all of whom distribute i(2)y literature, promoting the site and it's content to their AYA populations.

"We are excited about this project," says Barbara Jones, PhD, MSW, President of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers. "Not only does i(2)y have the potential to empower adolescents and young adults with cancer, it can assist pediatric oncology social workers in supporting their young patients through patient education and provider resource literacy."

Steps For Living has launched a capital campaign to underwrite development for upscaling the i(2)y website to include tagging, user comments, five-star ratings and tie-ins to existing social media. The organization is also investigating a cause-brand alliance with a corporate partner to develop an i(2)y documentary film and distribute free copies of an i(2)y benefit CD to survivors.

Steps For Living is a progressive nonprofit communications, support and social advocacy agent for adolescents and young adults with cancer. Our mission is to increase quality of life for this population by connecting them with trusted and credible cancer survivorship tools, including social networks, peer support programs and psychosocial resources. Our goal is to create lasting change in how the public relates to cancer. For more information visit

Note to Editors: Throughout this release, the brand name i(2)y is surrounded by parenthesis and should be read as brackets. It may not appear as such in databases.

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Survey shows health information search level impacted by age

Survey shows health information search level impacted by age

Source: ePharm5(tm)
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Interest and willingness to learn about health and healthcare online is high across gender, political party affiliation, and ideology, but not age, according to a survey of 800 registered voters. Those aged 65 and older are significantly different from the rest of the population in terms of their interest in pursuing further medical information online. A recent survey by American Survey finds that 79% of those surveyed report that they would seek additional online information after receiving a diagnosis from a doctor. However, according to an editorial in the Washington Times about the survey, the numbers drastically change when broken down by age. When voters aged 65 years and older were asked that same question, 48% report going online for healthcare information, versus 75% of voters aged 55 to 64. In the future, the numbers will even out, because as the age groups move up, they will take the higher percentages with them. In the short term, however, any policy initiatives should include outreach and educational programs to those more than 65 to reduce their reluctance to go online for health information, says the Washington Times report.

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Internet health info facilitates doctor-patient relationships

Internet health info facilitates doctor-patient relationships

Source: ePharm5(tm)
To receive these articles and others like it, click the link below to sign up for a FREE 30-day trial. 

The National Cancer Institute recently studied how consumer access to online heath information can change patients' perceptions of their doctors. Cancer patients who are just beginning to use the Internet to find information distrust their doctor's advice, but the more often patients used online information services, the more satisfied they became with their doctor's care. In other words, the more they learn, the more they trust, because the information online ends up validating physicians' advice. Therefore, referring patients to high quality information about their illness on the Internet may improve the doctor-patient relationship, according to the authors of the study. The Center for Connected Health is one of the few health institutions attempting this kind of doctor-patient extension, and so far it reports good results. Cleveland Clinic also is using blogs and podcasts in teaching scenarios and is looking at using them to deliver timely information to the doctor at the bedside, but has yet to incorporate physician-patient interaction. Go to HINTS for more information on the report.

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User-Generated Content Delivers More Bang for Your Online Marketing Buck According to Study From BlueLithium Labs

User-Generated Content Delivers More Bang for Your Online Marketing Buck According to Study From BlueLithium Labs

Market Wire via NewsEdge Corporation :

SAN JOSE, CA, April 24 / MARKET WIRE/ --

On average, user-generated content (UGC) sites provide a lower cost per conversion than non-UGC sites. That's the surprising finding from a new study published today by BlueLithium Labs, the research division of ad network BlueLithium.

Questions about the brand risk of running ads within or adjacent to user-generated content have been debated extensively in the advertising trade press. However the issue of whether user-generated content Web sites perform as well as editorial Web sites for marketers has not been explored. BlueLithium had, in fact, received queries from its own marketing clients regarding the price performance of UGC vs. non-UGC Web sites, so to help answer that question for its clients, the company undertook a thorough, unbiased, nine-month quantitative study.

BlueLithium Labs analyzed the performance of campaigns that included 716 ads and more than 1.7 billion ad impressions between August 2006 and April 2007. The study focused on two key factors: the number of conversions registered for each campaign and the cost of the media. "Conversions" included a range of actions such as completing an online purchase, registering for a program, signing up for a service or requesting more information. By dividing the number of actions by the cost of the media, the study arrived at a "cost per conversion" for each campaign. It's this "cost per conversion" that marketers use to determine the bottom line effectiveness of any media, and thus the metric that was used to evaluate the effectiveness of UGC vs. non-UGC sites.

When comparing ads shown on non-UGC sites to UGC sites, the ads shown on non-UGC sites had a 32 percent higher conversion rate. However, due to the lower cost of advertising on UGC sites, the cost per conversion for non-UGC sites was 58 percent higher. Therefore, on average, UGC sites generally provide a considerably lower cost per conversion.

In the second phase of the study, BlueLithium Labs tested non-UGC sites from the comScore top 250 against the same group of UGC sites tested in Phase I. The comScore top 250 is a list compiled by comScore Media Metrix reflecting the 250 highest trafficked Web sites in the U.S. The study showed that the conversion rate of ads shown on non-UGC sites from the comScore top 250 was 175 percent higher as compared to UGC sites. However, given the significantly lower cost of the UGC media, the non-UGC comScore 250 sites have 7 percent higher cost per conversion as compared to UGC sites.

"Marketers are interested in social media but there have been no quantitative studies of the performance differences conducted by research houses," said Dakota Sullivan, CMO of BlueLithium. "Based on the results of this study, we believe that UGC is worth exploring, since it appears to provide a better place to invest your advertising dollars to drive conversions. However, since performance varied across sites and categories of advertiser, make sure that you work with a network to test various messages on different types of sites to see what works best for your specific product or service."

Note: Please contact blast! PR for the complete study.

About BlueLithium:

Based in San Jose, CA, BlueLithium is the leading data driven performance marketing company, using data from 130 million consumers worldwide, sophisticated analytics and advanced ad targeting technologies to create value for both publishers and marketers. Founded in 2004, the company was named 2006 Innovator of the Year by AlwaysOn and has been named one of the top 100 private companies in America for three consecutive years. For more information, visit

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Brand Website Trust Index Identifies and Rates Credibility Factors

Brand Website Trust Index Identifies and Rates Credibility Factors

Durham, NC – April 18, 2007 — Phoenix Marketing International, one of the fastest growing marketing services firms in the United States, announced today the results of research that quantifies consumers’ confidence in information on pharmaceutical websites. Their work also ranks each site’s trustworthiness against those of competitors. The research was conducted for a large pharmaceutical company by Phoenix Marketing’s recent acquisition, Johnston, Zabor, McManus, Inc. (JZM).

“The image of the pharmaceutical industry has declined over the past decade. Both consumers and professionals distrust the intentions and motivations of pharmaceutical companies, and they have little confidence in the information that the companies provide with the intention of being helpful,” stated Scott Brown, Ph.D., vice president of product development at JZM.

“A leading pharma manufacturer launched several web sites that were designed both to raise consumer awareness of products and product benefits and to enhance cross-channel sales efforts. The company asked JZM to analyze the effectiveness of those web sites. Their goal was to engender a more trusting relationship through the use of branded sites.”

Through its research JZM identified and ranked the factors that contribute to a sense of trustworthiness in visitors to web sites. The company also developed a summary index score, which the client may use to measure the performance of its branded web sites relative to an industry norm.

“The site visitors we interviewed told us the best way to earn their trust is to present accurate, current, and unbiased information in an easy-to-understand manner, “explained Brown. “An interesting note is that sites that discussed chronic conditions were rated as more trustworthy than sites for life-threatening conditions,” he added.

About Phoenix Marketing International
Founded in 1999, Phoenix Marketing International is one of the fastest growing marketing services firms in the United States and partner of many of the largest companies in the financial services, consumer package goods, automotive, healthcare, and travel and leisure industries worldwide. Phoenix also offers advanced advertising and brand measurement along with direct marketing expertise. Phoenix has offices in New York City, Rhinebeck (NY), Somerset (NJ), Detroit, Boston, Salisbury (MD), Chicago, Los Angeles, Tampa, Durham, (NC), and Miami. On January 12th Phoenix acquired a major interest in JZM, a full service healthcare market research company, to serve as the foundation of its new healthcare practice.

Phoenix offers a unique combination of industry expertise, methods and consulting services, combining primary and syndicated marketing research expertise with database analytics and modelling proficiency. Applying this information assists clients in improving profit dynamics of their business. For more information please visit

About JZM
Johnston, Zabor, McManus, Inc. (JZM), a Division of Phoenix Marketing International, provides business solutions through research. Our goal is to bring value to you and your organization through our strategic application of marketing, relationship, and communication research. JZM combines a high level of industry-based expertise with sophisticated research competencies and projective modeling by applying a “consultant” approach to business problem resolution.

JZM is a full service marketing research firm that offers a comprehensive range of research services for the management of new product discovery, development, positioning and launch. We link that knowledge with insight into the management of customer relationships to provide total market vision. Our goal is to enhance confidence in management decision making. For more information please visit

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Kristin Cavallari Takes Camera Into Her Own Hands for RealityLASIK Docu-Drama Premiering Online Today

Kristin Cavallari Takes Camera Into Her Own Hands for RealityLASIK Docu-Drama Premiering Online Today
Tuesday May 1, 10:00 am ET


'Real Eye' Series Follows Actress' Pursuit of 20/20 Vision - A Reality Shared by Millions Each Year

LOS ANGELES, May 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- What do you get when you mix a reality TV crew, four handheld digital camcorders, and an eye surgeon-to-the-stars, with a TV beauty's pursuit of 20/20 vision and one innovative company willing to document it all? You get the breakthrough online docu-drama RealityLASIK, which documents Kristin Cavallari's pursuit of the latest in vision correction surgery and her decision to ultimately undergoing Advanced CustomVue(TM) LASIK with the IntraLase Method(TM).

The online series, underwritten and produced by Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) (NYSE: EYE - News), the company behind the advanced blade-free LASIK procedure, premieres today at It is the first docu-drama to use a reality show format as the vehicle for not only entertaining, but also educating viewers about the popular vision correction surgery.

"Kristin had made the decision to have LASIK surgery and approached us with the idea of documenting her own experience as a fun way to speak to her fans and others considering the procedure," said Lauren Kanner, AMO's global director of consumer market development. "The medical industry is always looking for ways to earn the public's trust. The very nature of a reality-based program is to draw the audience in, and we thought this was an engaging opportunity for people to live the LASIK surgery experience through Kristin's eyes, not ours."

Cavallari added, "I am a person with real questions, fears, and ultimately, extreme elation with the end result. AMO gave me the freedom to tell my story, on my terms, with my own friends and family using my own cameras."

Reality crews follow Kristin Cavallari's every LASIK move over a one month time span, capturing her first doctor's visit, the advanced blade-free LASIK procedure itself performed by renowned ophthalmologist Dr. Robert Maloney, and the subsequent post-op visits. The 8-episode docu-drama also catches Kristin in candid, confessional moments -- some filmed by close friends and family and some by herself with the use of four digital camcorders. The reality series also includes a companion blog and audiocast of her experience.

RealityLASIK: Beauty Real-EYE-zed

The first episode opens with Kristin entering her management offices to pitch the concept for an online reality journal. The concept is met with much enthusiasm around the room as she details her desire to reach out to her fans and other young people.

"My frustration with my vision began in sixth grade with my first pair of glasses and didn't get any better with my first pair of contacts two years later," said Cavallari. "No matter how you look at it, glasses and contacts are a huge inconvenience, especially when you're young."

Episode 2 will debut one week later with one episode rolling out each week.

Real-EYE-Dramas Acted out Daily Nationwide

Millions struggle with the hassle of contacts and glasses. Yet most don't realize that the likelihood of a serious sight-threatening complication from contact lenses is five times greater than LASIK, according to a recent study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology (Mathers, et. al., Oct. 2006). The size of the U.S. Gen Y population is estimated at 76 million. (Fast Company, Jan./Feb. 2006).

"People in their 20s are the ideal candidates for LASIK. Not only will they enjoy great vision for decades to come, but they will preserve the health of their eyes by eliminating continual contact lens wear," said Dr. Maloney. "Kristin really represents a generation that is comfortable and savvy enough to seek the most advanced technologies, such as Advanced CustomVue LASIK with the IntraLase Method, to meet the demands of their lifestyles."

Dr. Maloney continued, "By having LASIK surgery earlier in life, this generation also will save tens of thousands of dollars in glasses, contact lenses, solutions and continual follow-up care." Given the cost of contacts, ever-changing glasses prescriptions and follow-up care, some people can recoup the cost of LASIK in less than three years. Flexible financing plans can make this a realistic, affordable option for young people.

Casting Call

In conjunction with the docu-drama's premiere, AMO also is launching a nationwide contest for people to submit their own videos, audiocasts and blog entries, documenting their own experience having Advanced CustomVue LASIK using the IntraLase Method. Experiences can be submitted in the form of a video, audio or diary entry to One winner will be selected each month through December 31, 2007 and awarded $5,000. For a complete list of contest rules please visit

RealityLASIK Credits:

Starring Kristin Cavallari

Kristin Cavallari is known for her role several years ago on the MTV Reality TV series Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County. She was one of several women who had their real life captured on the reality TV show, as she progressed from a high school junior in the first season to a senior in the second season of the show. Kristin's friends and family also appear in the RealityLASIK docu-drama including her mom, best friend, manager and beloved dog.

Ophthalmologist: Dr. Robert K. Maloney

Robert K. Maloney, MD, MA (Oxon), is a former Rhodes scholar and Summa Cum Laude graduate of Harvard University. He completed his education at Oxford University and John Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Maloney was the first surgeon in western North America to perform LASIK surgery as part of the original FDA clinical trials. He is clinical professor of ophthalmology at UCLA and director of the Maloney Vision Institute in West Los Angeles, Calif. Dr. Maloney has personally performed more than 50,000 vision-correction procedures and has been interviewed by the Discovery Channel, the Learning Channel, Extra, 20/20, Prime Time Live, PBS's Life and Times, and CNN's the World Today. He also has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers.

The Procedure: Advanced CustomVue(TM) LASIK with the IntraLase Method(TM)

The Advanced CustomVue laser vision correction procedure stands in a class of its own with the broadest range of FDA-approved indications. When combined with the power and precision of the IntraLase Method, the Advanced CustomVue represents the most advanced LASIK procedure available to patients today. The IntraLase FS laser, the first technology for a blade-free LASIK procedure, replaces the handheld microkeratome blade historically used in creating LASIK corneal flaps -- the first step of the procedure -- with a computer guided, ultra-fast femtosecond (fem-to-second) laser. The IntraLase laser virtually eliminates the majority of the most severe sight-threatening LASIK complications related to use of the microkeratome and, by creating an optimal corneal surface below the flap, provides for better visual outcomes -- taking patients to 20/20 vision and beyond. More than one million LASIK procedures using the IntraLase Method have been performed.

Executive Producers: Advanced Medical Optics (AMO)

AMO develops advanced, life-improving vision technologies for people of all ages. Products in the cataract/implant line include intraocular lenses (IOLS), phacoemulsification systems, viscoelastics, and related products used in ocular surgery. AMO owns or has the rights to such product brands as ReZoom®, Tecnis®, Clariflex®, Sensar®, and Verisyse(TM) IOLs, Sovereign® and Sovereign® Compact(TM) phacoemulsification systems with WhiteStar® technology, Healon® viscoelastics, and the Baerveldt® glaucoma shunt. Products in the laser vision correction line include wavefront diagnostic devices, femtosecond lasers and associated patient interface devices, and excimer laser vision correction systems and treatment cards. AMO brands in the laser vision correction business include Star S4 IR(TM), WaveScan Wavefront®, CustomVue(TM), IntraLase (TM), IntraLase Method(TM) and IntraLasik(TM). Products in the contact lens care line include disinfecting solutions, enzymatic cleaners and lens rewetting drops. Among the eye care product brands the company possesses are COMPLETE Moisture PLUS®, COMPLETE® Blink-N-Clean®, Consept®F, Consept® 1 Step, Oxysept® 1 Step, UltraCare®, Ultrazyme®, Total Care(TM) and blink(TM) branded products. AMO is based in Santa Ana, California, and employs approximately 4,200 worldwide. The company has operations in 24 countries and markets products in approximately 60 countries. For more information, visit the company's Website at

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