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Since 2001, Ogilvy has provided a full range of communications support to NHLBI for The Heart Truth® campaign. The campaign has sparked a powerful national movement within the women’s health community, the media, and corporate America. Created by Ogilvy on behalf of NHLBI, the campaign educates women across the U.S. that heart disease is their #1 killer and prompts them to take action to reduce their risks. This award-winning campaign created and introduced the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness and has delivered evidence-based guidelines on heart health to millions of women through a multitude of channels with messages that are easy to understand and act upon. From the long-standing partnership with America’s fashion industry that engages top-tier designers and celebrities at the annual Red Dress Collection Fashion Show to the hundreds of community events and local activities across the U.S.—The Red Dress® has proven to be a powerful source of inspiration for women to learn more and take risk-reducing action to improve their heart health.


Core strategies for the campaign include comprehensive partnerships with corporate, non-profit, health professional, government, and media groups. Highlights include partnerships with companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Diet Coke, and General Mills as well as media outlets such as Woman’s Day, Glamour, Siempre Mujer, AOL, and Lifetime. Ogilvy plans and executes a range of events such as the high-profile Red Dress Collection Fashion Shows during New York’s Fashion Week, and awareness-building events with the campaign’s founding ambassador, former First Lady Laura Bush. The campaign also engages in community programming and conducts risk factor screenings through The Heart Truth® Road Show; provides grants to equip community organizations to assist women—especially those of color, low income, or in rural areas through The Heart Truth® Community Action Program; and trains community health educators and women’s health advocates to spread the campaign’s messages through The Heart Truth® Champions program.


The campaign is making progress in the fight against heart disease in women. We have seen a steady decline in the number of heart disease deaths in women—from one in three to one in four women. Deaths have gone down in each of the 10 years from 1999 to 2008, a consecutive yearly decline that has not occurred before. Awareness among American women that heart disease is the #1 killer of women increased to 54 percent, up from 34 percent in 2000 (AHA survey data, 2009). The survey also showed that women's knowledge about their personal risk of heart disease is associated with increased action to reduce their risk (Journal of Women's Health, 2007).