Abbott Laboratories SA  

Abbott has been operating in the Vietnamese market for nearly three decades and its products are highly regarded by affluent Vietnamese consumers.

The Challenges  

For several years, the company was criticized by the media for its pricing policy due to significant price hikes. This led to negative publicity and a tarnished reputation for the Abbott brand. Things got worse when Abbott’s reputation was further damaged due to an incident involving potentially harmful whey protein powder from Fonterra, the industry’s largest raw material supplier. Although Fonterra ingredients were tested and later announced safe by health authorities, Abbott’s reputation had already been affected. 

The Solution  

As Abbott’s communications partner, Pioneer Marketing & Public Affairs understood the challenges the company was facing in the Vietnamese market. Leveraging the agency’s in-depth knowledge of the media landscape and a strong network of senior editors across the country, Pioneer was able to help Abbott resolve numerous issues related to product and price hikes. Additionally, Pioneer facilitated a better working relationship between Abbott and its stakeholders. Pioneer was tasked with organizing a flagship corporate citizenship project of Abbott – the media launch of Abbott’s first-ever Citizenship Report in Vietnam. This report highlighted Abbott and Abbott Fund’s community outreach efforts and showcased the company’s commitment to improving access to healthcare in Vietnam. 

The Results  

The media launch event was a major success and was attended by Vietnam’s then Deputy Minister of Health, Pham Le Tuan, whose keynote speech about Abbott’s contributions to healthcare in the country elevated the company’s reputation among media attendees and other stakeholders. The event was covered by over 40 top-tier newspapers in Vietnam, including five television stations and the national radio station (VOV1). The media coverage of the event was extensive, with over 50 news articles published in major newspapers, including 10 in-depth features and an exclusive interview on VOV1. As a result, Abbott Global awarded the corporate citizenship campaign the Best PR Campaign of the year. 

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