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In the News: Coverage of Venus Williams' 'Hear Me' Partnership with Blue Shield of California

Media from across the U.S. featured Blue Shield of California's partnership with tennis icon Venus Williams. Williams is the chief spokeswoman for Blue Shield's "Hear Me" ad campaign which debuted Sept. 20.

The goal of the advertising campaign, part of a broader campaign called “Who We Stand For Sets Us Apart," is to lift the voices of women about their experiences navigating racial and gender biases in the healthcare system.

"We want to be able to tap Venus to encourage people to tell their stories, but also to encourage people to be an advocate for their own health," said Suzanne Buffington, senior director of marketing at Blue Shield of California. "If you’re not feeling heard, then let a provider know.”

T.L. Stanley of AdWeek wrote:

Williams is one of several women featured in a new campaign for the insurance giant that calls out the medical establishment for “the implicit biases and systemic inequities that persist in health care today,” according to Jeff Robertson, the brand’s senior vice president of consumer growth and CMO.

There are statistics to back up his statement: 1 in 2 women’s health concerns go unheard, per Blue Shield’s research, and 83% of women with chronic pain have experienced gender discrimination from doctors, often being told they are stressed or overreacting rather than suffering. And, like Williams, many get the patronizing “it’s all in your head” reaction.

The ad started running on TV this week. To view it, click here. To view the news release, click here.