Drugmaker Eli Lilly announced that no one will pay more than $35 a month for its life-saving insulin, NBC News reported.
The cap applies to all insulin products. For those with private insurance, the out-of-pocket cap will be automatically applied; those without insurance can sign up for a discount card online.
The move will bring significant price savings to many insulin-dependent diabetics. In 2018, a study found that the average cost of a single vial of insulin was $98.70, far above what other nations pay for the drug, which many diabetics need to survive.
Eli Lilly’s price cap comes amid intense pressure from multiple quarters. Congress had already capped the price of insulin at $35 for those on Medicare, and has made several failed attempts to extend the cap to younger users, NBC News reported. A rogue tweet from an account impersonating Eli Lilly also falsely claimed in November that insulin would be free, sending the company’s stock tumbling. Finally, increased generic competition is set to upend the insulin market, NBC News reported, as nonprofits, Mark Cuban’s pharmacy and even the state of California are all set to make their own low-cost insulin.
Why it matters: PR is clearly not the primary motivator here of the price reduction. There’s a complex legal and competitive landscape at play. However, by not waiting to be forced to lower its prices by legislation, or due to pressure once the lower-cost alternatives are on the market, Eli Lilly does win some PR points. They’re able to roll out the news on their terms — and the coordinated announcement is splashed across every major news site in the U.S.
McDonald’s Cardi B and Offset meal draws ire from some franchisees
A celebrity meal deal highlighting rapping couple Cardi B and Offset has drawn internal discontent from some McDonald’s franchisees, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Part of the “Famous Orders” line, the meal deal offers “a cheeseburger with BBQ sauce and a Coke for Cardi B and a Quarter Pounder with cheese and Hi-C Orange Lavaburst for Offset,” the Wall Street Journal reported, plus large fries and an apple pie.
But some franchisees say the risqué Cardi B (her explicit “WAP” was a 2020 smash hit) doesn’t fit with McDonald’s family friendly reputation and could violate a franchisee agreement prohibiting “musical partnerships associated with content that includes offensive language in the lyrics.”
The Wall Street Journal said that an unknown number of franchisees have refused to offer the meals and have removed promotional items from their restaurants.
In statements provided to the Wall Street Journal, McDonald’s defended the move, saying it had generated excitement across the company.
“We’re always thoughtful in what we post on McDonald’s channels and careful to avoid language that might offend,” the company said.
Why it matters: While it’s difficult to say just how widespread the internal pushback to the partnership is, there is a disconnect. “Offensive language” is a deeply subjective measure, but a great deal of Cardi B music is not something most people would be comfortable playing for children — like over the loudspeaker at a McDonald’s.
McDonald’s should work with franchisees to make sure there is alignment about what the company stands for to avoid muddling its brand values. If franchisees disagree — and franchising makes for a different dynamic than many other kinds of business — there should be clear ways to opt out.
The media doesn’t realize its audience doesn’t trust them, study says
A new survey from EvolveMKD and Ipsos finds a deep divide between how the media views itself and how their audience sees it.
As a press release reveals:
When asked how their audiences would describe them, the media picked words like “trustworthy”, “credible”, “authentic” or “truthful.” Meanwhile, responses from consumers were that the media is “biased”, “political,” or “deceitful.”
The survey also confirmed some now-familiar statistics: 40% of consumers think the media is more interested in being entertainment than news; 45% believe the news media has an agenda; and 41% believe the media is biased.
Why it matters: The news media remain strong partners and intermediaries for the PR industry. But the disconnect between their self-view and their audience’s view is concerning. Yes, (good) media strives to be trustworthy, credible and authentic, but something is getting lost in translation right now.
Work with your media partners to bridge that trust gap. And always be realistic about how your audiences feel about the outlets you work with. Assume there will be skepticism, even antipathy. And keep seeking alternate outlets like influencers, podcasts, events and other owned media channels.
A TikTok beauty filter is skewing the world
A scroll on TikTok will often reveal influencers using filters that give them freckles, change their eyes to a fantasy color or subtly touch up their makeup.
But a new filter called “bold glamour” takes it all a step forward, re-sculpting faces to plastic surgeried, airbrushed perfection.
People on TikTok wrote that the filter should come with a warning and that it was basically face tuning, but just a filter. They’re not wrong. It smooths out any blemishes, it plumps your lips, whitens your teeth, while all still plausibly looking like it’s still you. The skin even seems to retain some texture while using the filter, basically hiding the fact that it’s smoothed.
The bold glamour filter is frighteningly effective. Should we let it, it creates an impossible and off-putting standard for anyone living a normal life. Already, there are tons of TikToks tutorials promising make-up to copy the filter IRL. That feels like a dangerous precedent to set.
Why it matters: As we use TikTok in our communications, we need to remember to be responsible stewards. The harm of airbrushing and other photo retouching is well-documented. This new ability to change your own face has the potential to further warp how we view ourselves.
Remember that authenticity is the greatest currency on TikTok. The rough edges are often what brings the most charm on the platform.