World Obesity Federation

Barley Communications was appointed by the World Obesity Federation to provide PR strategy and communications support for World Obesity Day 2018, which focused on weight stigma and discrimination. This included a specific focus on highlighting stigma in the media, requiring a sensitive approach to encourage journalists to cover a story about media stigma.

We devised a global communications strategy to shine a spotlight on pervasive weight discrimination. Our multi-channel approach led to more than 1,100 pieces of coverage for World Obesity Day and led prominent journalists to make u-turns on how they report on the issues.

We also launched a campaigning social handle – @EndWeightStigma – to call out examples of weight discrimination and signpost to World Obesity’s alternative, non-stigmatising image bank. We’re also actively engaging media organisations around the world – including journalists, press standards organisations and stock image portals – to highlight the case for change. This has led key media outlets (including the Mail Online) to change the images they use when reporting on obesity.

On appointing Barley, Lucy Keightley from World Obesity said:

“Barley’s behaviour change experience, savvy campaigning skills and media expertise – on top of their impressive knowledge of the healthcare sector – made them the natural partner to support World Obesity Day. We’re excited to be working with them to help change people’s perceptions of obesity and end weight stigma once and for all.”