Imagine this: you really – really! – have to ‘go’, but you are denied access to the nearest toilet. Highly inconvenient, isn’t it? For IBD patients, however, it’s nothing short of a disaster. They do have a toilet pass, which should allow them to use all toilets in public spaces. But in reality they are still often denied access.
The pharmaceutical company Takeda – which supports the IBD patient associations CCV-vzw and Association Crohn-RCUH – asked LVTPR to set up a campaign to put this problem on the map. With two concrete goals: to make the toilet pass legally binding and to make this largely invisible disease and its consequences visible to the general public.
Our PR agency devised an integrated campaign, centred around an in-your-face video and an online petition. With a hidden camera we revealed how IBD patients are denied access to toilets in shops and diners. Even when they explained the seriousness of their illness and presented their toilet pass. The video was published on a webpage (only available in French and Dutch) which allowed visitors to sign the petition to give the toilet pass legal power.
The campaign was launched with an extensive social media campaign on the patient platforms, which generated huge traffic to the web page. And thanks to a thorough media lobby, a large number of Belgian newspapers and TV channels reported about the video and the campaign. Over 13.000 people signed the petition. This also set in motion a wave of both disgruntled and hopeful reactions from the general public, the political world and several famous Belgians.
The results exceeded all expectations: a nationwide discussion was launched, the political world could no longer ignore the situation and several other patient unions jumped the bandwagon. This led to the partners widening the scope of the project which is discussed as we speak. To be continued…
In 2017 LVTPR set up this campaign for the Refugee Walk by Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen (Refugee Work Flanders), to raise awareness around a different big social theme: taking care of arriving refugees. The campaign was awarded a prestigious Sabre Award.