Cambre developed and rolled out a pan-European public affairs and public relations campaign to build support for practical action aiming to combat overweight and obesity. A large number of patient groups joined the campaign, which was also supported by political champions at the European Parliament, healthcare professionals and policymakers.
Cambre began the work on this campaign in collaboration with the Belgian Association of Obese Patients (BOLD) and the National Obesity Forum. The aim was to call on policymakers to undertake more actions to combat overweight and obesity.
Where traditional face-to-face advocacy meetings had proved unsuccessful in the past, Cambre recommended pairing a public affairs approach with the development of a community of interested parties around the idea of a European Obesity Day. Cambre also suggested developing a highly visual online platform to bring together patients, medical organisations and policymakers.
We brought a wide range of supporting organisations on board and began to secure the patronage of Members of the European Parliament. In May 2009, the European Obesity Day was officially launched at a press conference in the European Parliament, by Magor Csibi MEP.
With growing support, EOD built its presence online through the website and social networks, both in Brussels and in Member States, by supporting the development of EOD in national capitals in collaboration with local EOD supporting organisations.
The first European Obesity Day went ahead on 22 May 2010 under the campaign title ‘5-10 for a healthier Europe’. Promotional activities were organised across 16 Member States. There was also an event in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
The first EOD in 2010 generated 1000s of media mentions across Europe, was personally endorsed by the EU Health Commissioner and gained the active support of over 40 MEPs. In November 2010, EOD received the award for ‘Campaign of the Year’ at the European Public Affairs Awards.
The 2011 ‘Stop Yo-Yo’ campaign enjoyed similar success and was also endorsed by the EU Health Commissioner.